ISLAMABAD                     -                Chinese on Thursday donated 1500 food packs to the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) to help Afghan refugees stranded in camps due to the lockdown enforced to tackle COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The donation was made on the request of Minister of State for SAFRON Shehryar Afridi who earlier had written letters to the United Nations and Islamabad-based foreign diplomatic missions urging the donors to help assist the Afghan refugees trapped in the lockdown situation. In this regard, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing handed over the ration packs to Afridi here in Islamabad.

Ambassador Yao Jing lauded the regional and global initiatives taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that Pakistan’s role in helping out the Afghan refugees would long be remembered.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of SAFRON, the ambassador said that Pakistan was not only generously hosting millions of Afghans over the past four decades but it also was playing a key role in bringing peace and normalcy to war-torn Afghanistan. He said due to Pakistan’s lead role, Afghan peace process was making progress which would shape future of the Afghan nation.

“Today’s donation is a token and is due to the leadership provided by Shehryar Afridi. Despite coronavirus disease, the state minister has been actively engaged in affairs of national significance which is laudable,” he said.

He added that China had also made a donation to the UNHCR but they wanted to facilitate Pakistan’s efforts too,” he said.  

He said China believed that COVID-19 was a temporary challenge and Pakistan would soon overcome it. In his remarks, Afridi said that China had always been helping out the suffering humanity. 

He said once the epidemic turned into pandemic, China again started to play a leadership role in helping the world nations mitigate the disease.

“Pakistan and China will go hand in hand and let the world know what friendship means. Pakistan and China live and breathe together,” Afridi said.

“We have got around 2.8 million Afghans out of which 32 percent has been living in 54 camps across Pakistan,” he said.