Pakistan cannot bear burden of additional Afghan refugees: FO

He said peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan's interest

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri today (Thursday) asserted that Pakistan cannot bear the burden of additional Afghan refugees.

“We are already hosting over three million Afghan refugees for decades and now it is not possible to accept more refugees,” the FO spokesperson said while addressing a weekly press briefing.  

He said peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest as any security situation in the neighboring country has a direct impact on our own security. “Spoilers should not be allowed to exploit any security vacuum in Afghanistan,” he added.

The spokesperson further said that regional economic activity and connectivity were vital for the peace and prosperity of the region, which is directly linked with tranquility in Afghanistan.                                 

He also announced that a two-day Peace conference on Afghanistan was being held in Islamabad on Saturday. “The delegations from Afghanistan will start arriving in Pakistan on Friday,” the spokesman added.

In response to a question, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan wants to reopen the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing with Afghanistan to facilitate cross border movement of the people.

Answering a question regarding the killing of Chinese nationals in a bus incident in Pakistan, the Spokesperson said investigations were underway and nothing can be ruled out at the moment. “The security of Chinese nationals always remains a key priority for Pakistan,” he concluded.