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Pakistan Announces Plans to Aid Afghan Refugees - 2001-11-03


Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has announced new plans to help millions of Afghan refugees and displaced persons inside Afghanistan.

General Musharraf told reporters in Islamabad (Saturday) Pakistan would support international efforts inside Afghanistan to deliver food and set up camps to house displaced persons. He also said Pakistan would continue to accept elderly and extremely ill refugees, and would establish field hospitals along the border to treat civilian war casualties.

General Musharraf said Afghanistan's ruling Taleban must be informed of the proposals, but added that he was confident there would be no problem in securing approval for the camps. The Pakistani leader also said United Nations' concerns for security of the camp's residents would be considered.

President Musharraf said there was no possibility Pakistan would bow to U-N pressure and reopen its borders to a mass influx of refugees. Pakistan already has accepted more than two-million refugees from Afghanistan. General Musharraf said his country is not ready to receive two- or three-million more Afghans who are likely to cross the border.

The Pakistani leader appealed to his countrymen to contribute to the newly-established, nationwide, President's Relief Fund for Afghan Refugees.

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