Refugee Summit Islamabad, which was recently held at Serena Hotels, marked 40 years of Pakistan hosting the Afghan refugees. The event was attended by multiple personalities, including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, UN High Commissioner Filippo Frandi, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Actress Mahira Khan and a lot more. The leaders celebrated the enduring generosity of Pakistan and Iran in hosting these refugees and urged other nations to help more in sustaining them.
Antonio Guterres said, “The world must step up and do more for Afghan refugees. Afghanistan and its people cannot be abandoned. Now is the time for the international community to act and deliver”. He called for greater solidarity and support amid one of the world’s largest and longest-running refugee crisis.
Appointed as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in Pakistan, Mahira Khan also attended the Refugee Summit Islamabad. She has been working with the UN refugee agency for quite some time now and she also addressed the attendees at the event. “I am so grateful and honored that I get to use my platform and my voice for this cause. I am so glad I was chosen to do this”, she posted on her social media. “More than that, it is such an honor to meet the refugees and share the stage with them. All the three girls on stage, Hina, Fatemah and Dr. Salima, have inspirational stories”, she said.
Crafts made by refugee artisans were displayed on stalls at the event; one such prominent stall was Craft Stories by Huma Adnan. The jewelry at the stall was all made by refugee artisans in Karachi. Prime Minister Imran Khan also visited the stall and was briefed by Huma Adnan herself. Craft Stories is working to protect the heritage and support the refugee communities leading them to become sustainable. It focuses on skill development and aims to make these stateless people productive members of the society so that they can become independent.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his address to the attendees talked about how taking in Afghan refugees has put an undeniable strain on the host communities of Iran and Pakistan. He also stated that hosting these refugees has brought in various benefits as well.