United Nations: On Monday Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for the world community to address the root causes of forced migration and form a comprehensive global compact on refugees and migrants that ensures the displaced do not become victims of "xenophobic attitudes and political expediency".
Sharif, addressing the high-level UN summit on large movements of refugees and migrants, said the displacement of millions of people from their homelands, among the most urgent humanitarian challenges of the current times, "has neither been voluntary nor orderly".
He noted that the developing countries have to bear a greater burden of providing shelter to millions seeking refuge from war and poverty.
"The true scale of the crisis lies beyond the headlines. It is the developing countries, including Pakistan, that continue to be at the forefront of bearing the burden of large scale global human displacements. Many of these protracted displacement situations have created complex political, socio-economic and security and environmental challenges for host countries and local communities," he said.
Sharif said it is time for the international community to forge a "comprehensive global compact" on the large scale movement of refugees and migrants.
"This compact should be "based on fair and equitable burden sharing that aims to ensure that the displaced do not become victims of xenophobic attitudes and political expediency, a compact that provides greater avenues for legal migration and takes a holistic view of the situation".
He added that going forward, the international community must also address the "root causes of displacement" and forced migration.
"Unless we resolutely put out the fires that have caused so much suffering, we will not be able to find a long term solution to this crisis".
Sharif told the session that Pakistan has served as a "generous host" for nearly four decades to millions of Afghan refugees despite its own "modest resources".
Describing the Afghan refugee crisis as the "largest protracted refugee situation" in the world, Sharif said on Monday that Pakistan is hosting over 2.5 million Afghan refugees.
"Pakistan supports a safe and dignified return of all Afghan refugees to their homeland in a sustainable manner. We hope the international community will step forward and provide necessary resources to the (UN Refugee Agency) in a timely manner," he said.