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Pakistan lauded for showing solidarity in Afghan refugee crisis

Pakistan lauded for showing solidarity in Afghan refugee crisis

ISLAMABAD, 24 OCT (DNA) – Pakistan has shown great solidarity and resilience in managing the Afghan refugee crisis. For well over 30 years, Pakistan has spent vast amount of resources to accommodate their neighbors, and must be commended. However, what has changed recently is surprising, and understanding the root causes would be critical to a balanced approach forward.

These remarks were made by Ina Lepel, the German Ambassador to Pakistan, during the closing ceremony of Pakistan Center of Excellence’s (PACE) collaborative workshop; a three day residential training program between October 22 and 24, 2016, organized by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS). She also spoke about the refugee crisis in Germany.

She said that simplifiers and populists have tried to oversimplify a very complex problem by blaming the others and inciting fear into the resident population. Inconvenience or fear is no excuse for not following the rule of law, or not keeping your international commitments, she said.

Germany is spending vast amount of resources not only to integrate the migrants, but also to educate the resident population to be tolerant. The more educated the person, she stressed, the easier it is for them to integrate, or be accepting of the outsiders.

The resource persons and public intellectuals who interacted with the participating university lecturers and professors from different universities across Pakistan included award-winning photojournalist Ms. Sara Farid, Dr. Zubair Ghouri, Mr. Safiullah Gul, Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Dr. A. H. Nayyar and Ms. Humaira Masihuddin.

The discussion themes included rule of law, tolerance, respect for diversity, fundamental human rights, equal citizenry, democracy and governance, media ethics, and perhaps most importantly, the importance of questioning the narratives that are presented before us.

Mr. Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director CRSS, said that the basis of a progressive society is equal citizenry and strict adherence to the rule of law. He said that Pakistan needed to embrace these ideals in order to cultivate tolerance and diversity. =DNA

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