HSF-NDF launched a mini-docuseries highlighting Afghans refugees’ struggles, achievements



ISLAMABAD, The Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan and the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) organized a ceremony for the screening of a mini-docuseries to highlight the sufferings and hardships of Afghan Refugees living in Pakistan titled “The Refugee Stories: Lives of the Afghan Refugees in Pakistan” here the other day.

The documentary series has highlighted the struggles and achievements of Afghan refugees’ role models and community leaders who have excelled in adversity.

Addressing the gathering of the ceremony, the Resident Representative of HSF Pakistan, Dr. Steffen Kudella, said ” We want to strengthen the regional stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan through mutual understanding and cooperation.”

“We believe that Afghans in Pakistan are agents of positive change in Pakistan and Afghanistan: they can contribute substantially to democracy, peace and development.”

Dr Steffen explained the idea that the initiative aimed to only offer these Afghans a platform to share their experiences with the world and use these experiences to guide the future orientation of our work in Pakistan.

Dr Steffen said that we are hoping that the situation in Afghanistan improves soon, hope that the country can be rebuilt as a strong motherland one day, and hope that even in the most difficult situations of life, you can do good and contribute to society.

He said that the documentary was jointly created by the National Dialogue Forum, Hanns Seidel Foundation and IBEX Productions. It is part of our activities on regional dialogue with Afghan and Pakistani stakeholders.

Explaining the details and role of HSF-Pakistan, Dr Kudella said that Democracy, peace and development are also the goals of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

He said that the Hanns Seidel Foundation is the oldest German political foundation in Pakistan and it will celebrate its 40th birthday in Pakistan next year.

Our projects here promote good governance, regional dialogue, expertise in sustainable development, and support for talented Pakistani and Afghan scholars and students, he added.

Earlier, the Executive Director, National Dialogue Forum Shaharyar Khan in his well-come remarks said that our main objective is to highlight the human stories of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

He said ” We want to give them a voice and highlight their contributions to society. With this project, we want to remove the “taboo and stigma” around the word “refugee” and promote social cohesion between the Afghan refugee community and Pakistani society.”

He said that this documentary series is our small contribution to removing the misconceptions surrounding Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Shaharyar Khan said that same has the attention behind this effort is to highlight the struggles and successes of Afghan refugee role models & community leaders who have excelled in adversity.

“Our mission is to bridge the gap between the refugee and host communities by highlighting the struggles of refugees and migrants; how they excel due to their hard work and perseverance under these circumstances and contribute to Pakistani as well as the Afghan diaspora. Resultantly, we aim to foster and promote social cohesion in both communities.”

The documentary screening was followed by a panel discussion with prominent experts: Mr. Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan, Ms. Tammi Sharpe, Deputy Head of UNHCR Pakistan and Ms. Nasria Pashtun, Civil Society Activist and an Afghan Refugee, and moderated by Dr. Simbal Khan.