U.S. special envoy backs Afghan refugees in high-level talks with Pakistan

U.S. Special Representative Thomas West concluded a two-day visit to Islamabad, engaging in discussions with high-ranking Pakistani officials on security challenges and the protection of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

In a series of posts on X, West stated that he met with Pakistan’s Army Chief Asim Munir, Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s Special Representative in Afghanistan Asif Durrani, and Interior Ministry Secretary of Pakistan Aftab Akbar Durrani.

Emphasizing the serious security challenges posed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Pakistan, West underscored the imperative to safeguard Afghan refugees. The Special Representative conveyed Washington’s strong solidarity with Pakistan in the fight against terrorism in the region.

“We are also grateful for close communication with Islamabad regarding refugee protection issues, including collaboration with international organizations and humane and dignified treatment,” West said.

West also met with the leadership of UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Islamabad, discussing their support for the most vulnerable and at-risk Afghans.

“Proud that the U.S. has contributed $77M to UNHCR this year for these efforts, and $9M to IOM to respond to recent earthquakes,” West said.

“[I] also met courageous Afghan refugees to hear about their lives first-hand. Admire their courage under wrenching circumstances. We call for their protection and thank UNHCR, IOM, and other partners for their efforts,” he added.