A three-member delegation, headed by Philippa Candler, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Pakistan, met with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan at the Chief Minister’s House on Friday.
Matters pertaining to the repatriation of illegal immigrants residing in the province were discussed during the meeting, attended by Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry and Additional Chief Secretary Home Muhammad Abid Majeed.
Chief Minister Azam Khan informed the delegates that the repatriation process of illegal immigrants was progressing smoothly.
He emphasized that the provincial government was providing all possible facilities to those voluntarily returning to their homeland. Special funds have been allocated for this purpose, and the immigrants are treated with humanity.
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The chief minister highlighted that specific transit points, equipped with necessary facilities, have been established for the temporary stay of returning immigrants, with special consideration given to the elderly, women, and children, in line with local traditions.
Azam Khan assured that an effective grievance redressal mechanism had been implemented to address any complaints or concerns of the immigrants promptly. He emphasized that efforts were underway to ensure proper treatment for every returning immigrant and issued special directives to relevant departments, district administrations, and the police to enforce these measures.
The chief minister expressed the commitment to strengthen the coordination mechanism between the UNHCR and relevant provincial departments for the amicable completion of the repatriation process.
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Philippa Candler, speaking on the occasion, expressed gratitude to the government of Pakistan and its people for hosting a large number of refugees over several decades.She commended the provincial government for its efforts in making special arrangements for the repatriation of illegal immigrants, providing necessary facilities.
Candler hoped that the coordination between the provincial government and UNHCR would continue to facilitate the repatriation of immigrants to the maximum extent possible.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th2023.