Islamabad, 4 December 2023 (TDI): Key US officials from the Biden Administration focusing on refugee affairs start a four-day visit to Islamabad, amidst worsening relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan
This diplomatic engagement aims to address critical issues, notably the refugee crisis and strained bilateral relations.
Julieta Valls Noyes, the US assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, is scheduled to embark on a pivotal four-day trip starting today.
Her itinerary includes meetings with senior government officials and engagements with non-governmental and international organizations.
The primary focus of her visit is to deliberate on shared efforts toward protecting vulnerable individuals and expediting the safe relocation and resettlement of Afghan refugees.
Following Noyes’s visit, the stage will be set for the arrival of other key American dignitaries. Tom West, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, will continue the discussions initiated by Noyes.
Elizabeth Horst, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for Pakistan, will further this dialogue during her visit starting December 9, marking a continuation of the ongoing diplomatic conversations between the two nations.
The focal point of these interactions remains the escalating tensions spurred by Pakistan’s measures to repatriate illegal Afghan residents, notably after the October 31 deadline.
Despite these actions, Pakistan remains committed to addressing concerns raised by the United States, especially regarding the fate of approximately 25,000 Afghans awaiting immigration to the US, many of whom collaborated with the US during its military campaigns in Afghanistan.
The US has collaborated with Pakistan to seek viable alternatives, preventing the deportation of these Afghans back to Afghanistan. Additionally, there’s apprehension about the potential eviction not only of these Afghans but also of individuals like musicians, artists, journalists, and others.