EU-Pakistan: Launch of a comprehensive dialogue on migration and mobility

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DNA

Islamabad, NOV 14: Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, paid a two-day visit to Pakistan to discuss with the Government, law enforcement bodies and UN agencies a broad spectrum of bilateral questions on migration and security. Pakistan and the EU wish to strengthen their cooperation in all migration related areas, including from a regional point of view.

In a first, the European Union and Pakistan agreed to launch a comprehensive dialogue on migration and mobility. This will encompass all relevant aspects of migration management, including legal pathways for migration to Europe and addressing irregular migration and migrant smuggling and, continued enhanced cooperation on return, readmission and reintegration, through the full and effective implementation of the Pakistan-EU readmission agreement.

Commissioner Johansson and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar agreed to intensify preparations for the launch of a Talent Partnership with Pakistan to facilitate working and living in interested EU Member States for suitably qualified Pakistani nationals.

Commissioner Johansson thanked the Pakistani Government for their generosity in hosting 3 million Afghans, 1.3 million of whom are refugees.

She stated that it is a continental solidarity that the European Union has recently experienced, with the hosting of 4.5 million Ukranian refugees in the course of this year.

The Commissioner held discussions with Federal Ministers and Secretaries of Interior; Overseas and Human Resource Development; and Education and Professional Training, about possibilities for legal and safe pathways of migration to Europe.

With Minister Rabbani Khar, Commissioner Johansson agreed to intensify the concrete bilateral cooperation in security, including counterterrorism and fighting criminal networks, including the fight against smuggling of migrants.

The Commissioner visited Peshawar, where she exchanged views with the Frontier Corps and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). She was briefed about fight terrorism and against organised crime and on border management activities.

Commissioner Johansson agreed with the Minister of State that the first EU-Pakistan counterterrorism dialogue since 2018 will be held in the beginning of 2023 in Islamabad.

A broad exchange of views on migration and Afghan refugees with several UN agencies completed the Commissioner’s first visit to Pakistan.