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Afghan Refugees

Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications of comments of the Pakistani Prime Minister on Afghan refugees living in Pakistan on the achievement of aims of the London compact. (111590)

We support the principle of closing the refugee camps in Pakistan, in an orderly, carefully managed way that respects the rights of the refugees and international agreements. We are in close touch with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in both Geneva and Islamabad and are discussing with them their strategy for 2007. The Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan are due to meet with the UNHCR in Lahore on 6 February to discuss how they can work together to create the conditions necessary for significant returns in 2007.

The Afghan Government and the international community continue towards the benchmarks agreed in the Afghanistan compact in 2006.