Islamabad (Web Desk): World Refugee Day was observed on Tuesday across the globe including Pakistan, to honour the courage, strength and determination of refugees who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
The day also aims to build empathy and understanding for the plight of refugees and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.
This year's theme of the day is ‘hope away from home’.
Pakistan continues to be one of the world’s largest refugee-hosting countries, providing safety to millions of people forced to flee their countries.
These include mainly Afghan refugees holding Proof of Registration, besides a small number of refugees and asylum-seekers from other countries such as Myanmar, Yemen, Somalia and Syria.
President Dr Arif Alvi, in his message on the occasion of World Refugee Day, said that Pakistan continues to host one of the largest refugee populations in the world as the people and the Government of Pakistan opened their arms to Afghan refugees based solely on the principles of humanity and solidarity and extended support despite the challenges posed by meager resources.
He said that Pakistan's unparalleled humanitarian efforts in providing refuge to such a large number of displaced individuals, despite limited resources, serve as a testament to our spirit of brotherhood and compassion.
Dr Arif Alvi said it is remarkable that, even after forty years, there have been no untoward incidents or frictions between the refugees and the host communities, exemplifying the harmonious coexistence and mutual respect that prevails.
The president said we continue to work closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian agencies to provide essential assistance and protection to refugees residing within our borders.
He said that in order to equip Afghan refugees with the knowledge and skills, we have implemented comprehensive educational programs, ensuring that refugee children have access to quality schooling.
President Alvi said that this day brings into focus the hardships endured by refugees and emphasizes our commitment towards supporting them during these challenging times.
Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf has called for appropriate allocation of resources to tackle the predicament faced by refugees across the world.
In a statement on the occasion of World Refugee Day being observed today, he said collaborative efforts are needed on international level to support the developing nations that have generously welcomed large populations of displaced individuals.
Highlighting Pakistan’s longstanding commitment to hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over four decades, the Speaker applauded the remarkable generosity, hospitality, and compassion displayed by people of Pakistan towards these refugees.
December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established World Refugee Day through Resolution 55/76.
The resolution aimed to raise awareness about the increasing number of refugees worldwide and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
The 1951 Refugee Convention, adopted in the aftermath of World War II, established the legal framework for the protection and rights of refugees. It defined who qualifies as a refugee, outlined their rights, and outlined the obligations of nations to provide them with safety and assistance.