Consultative Dialogue on Citizenship to Refugee Children and Stateless Persons (Quetta)

Introduction/Background:

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has proposed the integration policy for Pakistani born refugee children and stateless persons.  This idea is widely appreciated by all the stakeholders across the globe. He has invited suggestions in this regard while speaking in the parliament.

By endorsing the humanitarian stance of PM, SHARP-Pakistan has voluntary started advocacy campaign to further strengthen and support the PM’s vision and the government of Pakistan by engaging all the relevant stakeholders to collect their suggestions for durable solution.

Pakistan is hosting millions of Afghan Refugees and accommodating stateless people on its soil for decades truly on humanitarian grounds. It has always been sincerely supporting and contributing towards the solution strategy for the long- standing issue of Afghan Refugees. Though Pakistan is not a signatory to UN Convention of Refugees 1951, yet despite all odds government and people of Pakistan are generously hosting a large number of refugees for such a long time respecting international obligations. International community has always been appreciative of Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices towards refugee cause. Despite numerous internal and external security challenges and economic issues Pakistani nation and institutions protected refugees and perhaps it is the sole example in the world that communities are living together peacefully since four decades.

The solution strategy requires continuous discussions, dialogues and consultations among the stakeholders to understand the real challenges and adopt practical approach towards the durable solution for the most protracted issue of refugees and stateless persons in Pakistan.

Consultative Dialogue:

Keeping in mind the above situation, SHARP-Pakistan is organizing consultative dialogue to brainstorm reality, perspective, challenges and to discuss the durable solution for the most protracted refugee situation in Pakistan in the light of refugee management policy adopted by federal government in February last year and the recent positive development after the humanitarian statement of  Prime Minister of  Pakistan considering the citizenship to refugee children and stateless persons living in Pakistan by engaging parliamentarians, government officials, and international community. Media, experts and civil society representatives to share their views on the initiative of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

This dialogue aims to provide an opportunity to take the views of all stakeholders to formulate the guidelines for future strategy to resolve this issue. This event will be a step to explore the doable steps towards the solution of protracted issue of Afghan refugees.

Similar dialogues were held in Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar in recent months which were largely attended by different stakeholders including Legal experts, media, international community, civil society who discussed legal aspects and probabilities of citizenship Act.

The dialgoue at Quetta was held in Serena Hotel on 29th November, 2018. Former senator Mr. Farhatullah Babar presided over and Mr. Afrasiab Khattak was the guest of honor for the event.

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