Turkey and Pakistan recently discussed the challenges of the refugee crisis, as well as the influx of migrants from neighbouring countries – a major challenge that both Turkey and Pakistan face.
Turkey’s Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı met Pakistan’s Interior Minister retired Brig. Ijaz Shah in the capital Islamabad along with a four-member delegation, a statement by the Interior Ministry said.
Çataklı said that as the two nations encountered similar problems, it was easier to expand cooperation between the governments, and enhance people-to-people contacts. Turkey could learn from Pakistan in handling the matters in question, he added.
Turkey and Pakistan are home to the world’s largest refugee population in the world. While the Ankara hosts over 3.5 million Syrian refugees, about 2.5 to 3 million Afghans live in Pakistan.
One of the world’s largest refugee-hosting nations, Pakistan is home to an estimated 2.4 million registered and undocumented people from Afghanistan. There were an estimated 1,405,715 registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan as of June 2019, as per the statistics by UN refugee agency.
From 2002 to 2018, some of 4,374,208 Afghan refugees voluntarily repatriated from Pakistan with UNHCR’s assistance. Since the beginning of 2019, around 10,720 Afghans have returned home from Pakistan, according to the data collected by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Syrians make up nearly one-third of all refugees in the world, and Turkey hosts 63.4% of them or 3,570,352 people. This figure was released by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)—constitutes a 4.2% increase in Turkey’s 2017 population of 81,745,000.
Earlier, Pakistan PM Imran Khan while addressing the Global Forum on Refugees in Geneva had stated – We are disturbed there not only could be a refugee crisis, we are worried it could lead to a conflict between two nuclear-armed countries (referring to India and Pakistan and tensions over Kashmir).” “Our country will not be able to accommodate more refugees,” he added, urging the world to “step in now”.
Khan further stated – “The people of Pakistan have hosted four million Afghan refugees with generosity for about four decades and there are still three million refugees in the country including 1.4 million registered ones.” He also paid tributes to Turkey for hosting the largest refugee population.
“We cannot abandon the refugees and their protection is imperative. There is a need to mobilise international cooperation and solidarity to build the resilience of refugees in their host countries,” Khan had stated