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Taliban calls on Pakistan to reverse ban on refugees

Meanwhile, a Taliban official in Islamabad told IRIN on Monday they were hopeful that Thursday’s ban against further Afghan refugees entering Pakistan would soon be lifted and criticised the UN for not providing enough assistance to deal with the problem. Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, a senior spokesman at the Taliban embassy in Islamabad, said Ambassador Mola Abdol Salam Zaif was in constant contact with Pakistani authorities “and given 20 years of cooperation with Pakistan, he is hopeful that the ban will soon be lifted”. Shaheen was particularly critical of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP). “These people are coming into Pakistan because of the drought and the ban on poppy cultivation,” he said. “We told the ODCCP that they needed to provide alternative sources of revenue to these farmers so that they could provide a livelihood for themselves, but the ODCCP has not cooperated in this regard,” he said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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