KP opposes extending Afghan refugees’ stay
KABUL (PAN): Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, rejecting the central government’s repatriation policy, has opposed extending Afghan refugees’ stay in the country, a report said on Friday.
In case of need, the provincial government suggested registered Afghans should be equally distributed among the four federating units instead of burdening one province, the Dawn newspaper reported.
“The first proposal is that there should be a comprehensive repatriation plan and all Afghan refugees be repatriated within a year. The relevant deputy commissioners be assigned quarterly targets to ensure 100% repatriation within a stipulated period,” it quoted an unnamed KP official as saying.
If the federal government wanted to continue with the generosity of hosting refugees, other provinces should equally share the burden, he argued. In collaboration with the UN, the official proposed, new camps should be set up in Punjab and Sindh provinces.
The report said the provincial government had come up with effective measures to strengthen management of the Durand Line and install the biometric system to check the movement of Afghan nationals through unfrequented routes.
The Ministry of State and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) has directed provincial governments and all relevant agencies that despite expiry of their deadline for their stay on June 1, the status of registered refugees had not changed, the KP official said.
But the provincial government, led by the Tehreek-i-Insaf party of Imran Khan, had conveyed to the SAFRON ministry KP was literally war-ravaged and underdeveloped, hosting more than 62 per cent of the refugees in 29 of the nationwide 42 camps.
Provincial officials claimed about 60 percent of registered Afghans lived outside camps and had no access to schools managed by the UN refugee agency.
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