KABUL (TOLO News): Mohammad Sarwar Danish, the second vice president, at a conference on Afghan refugees in Islamabad on Monday said that millions of Afghans have returned home over the past five years from Pakistan and Iran.
“Pakistan during that time (during the war in Afghanistan) was a haven for the Afghans,” Danish said, adding that “this makes the friendship between the countries even stronger.”
“Without doubt, a presence of such as huge number of refugees has caused problems to the host countries, but our refugees have also had a good impact on these countries, with the economy and construction,” he said.
“The Afghan government has welcomed the return of Afghans to their country,” he said, adding that “the refugees should not be used as a political pressure tool by any country.”
Danish also said that the insurgent groups in Pakistan have recruited refugees and “in fact they use the refugees who come for the safe havens, they advertising against the government of Afghanistan in these camps and launch destabilizing attacks against the legitimate government of Afghanistan.”
“This has been caused instability in Afghanistan,” he added.
He believes that Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process is “vital,” and says: “Afghanistan is not the country that it was in 2001, and peace means not returning to that.”
“Without stability in Afghanistan, there would be no stability and economic stability in Pakistan,” Danish said, saying that “both Pakistan and Afghanistan need each other to continue, and the national interest of each country depends on the other.”
“Afghanistan doesn’t want to be the battlefield of a proxy war, and we want Afghanistan to be a transit point,” Danish said.
Danish seeks Pakistan officials’ cooperation over the transit issue between Pakistan and Afghanistan.