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    Unregistered Afghan refugees top Islamabad talks

    ISLAMABAD (PAN): Officials of Pakistan and Afghanistan, along with the United Nations, started talks on issues of unregistered Afghan refugees in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday.

    Hamid, the refugees’ attaché in Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghan refugee minister Jamahir Anwari, along with a high ranking delegation, had arrived in the capital on Tuesday.

    The visiting minister held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Eng. Shaukatullah Khan on Tuesday and would meet the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) officials on Wednesday to discuss refugee problems, he said.

    Last month Pakistan had announced that all unregistered Afghan refugees living in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province should return to their homeland.

    “During these meetings, the Afghan delegation will try to convince Pakistan to formulate a strategy to register unregistered refugees,” said Hamid, adding that both parties had agreed to accelerate voluntary repatriation.

    According to the Pakistan Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) statement, during the Tuesday meeting, Khan assured that they would take action against those policemen involved in harassing refugees.

    Anwari during an interview with a Pakistani private television channel reiterated that Afghan refugees should not be forcefully repatriated.

    He thanked the government of Pakistan for hosting Afghans for three decades and demanded for further patience.

    mas/vp



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