FS Sohail Mahmood meets European delegation


ISLAMABAD, JAN 11 /DNA/ – Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood met with a delegation from European countries at the Foreign Office today. The delegation is on a study visit to Pakistan, organized by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), to assess the opportunities for support and cooperation in the realm of migration management. 

Appreciating ICMPD’s work in Pakistan in the areas of awareness-raising and capacity building, the Foreign Secretary underscored the importance of safe, affordable and legal pathways to migration. He added that such open channels would help in curbing irregular migration. The Foreign Secretary also welcomed the engagement between countries of origin and countries of destination to better understand each other’s requirements and concerns.  

The Foreign Secretary noted Pakistan’s active participation as a responsible member of the ‘Budapest Process’ which is working towards controlling illegal migration and facilitating the reintegration of returnee migrants. The Foreign Secretary interacted with the members of the delegation and exchanged views on the regional situation, especially with respect to the developments in Afghanistan. He emphasized that the consolidation of peace and stability in Afghanistan, including by ensuring the averting of a humanitarian crisis and economic collapse, would go a long way in preventing a possible exodus of Afghans from their country.     

 The Foreign Secretary also highlighted Pakistan’s unwavering commitment and hospitality in hosting more than 3 million Afghan Refugees for over 40 years. He called for greater support from the international community to the refugee hostingcountries in accordance with the principle of international burden and responsibility sharing. 

 The Foreign Secretary lauded the efforts of ICMPD in organizing the study visit which provided a valuable opportunity for Pakistani stakeholders to interact with their European partners. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue supporting ICMP in the fulfillment of its mandate in line with national priorities.