Afghans can open bank accounts in Pakistan
KABUL (PAN): Under an agreement extending their stay in Pakistan until the end of 2015, Afghan refugees can now open bank accounts and get driving licences and mobile phone SIM cards in the neighbouring country.
Misri Khan Momand, refugee affairs attaché at the Afghan embassy in Islamabad, said the agreement was formalised during talks between Afghan Minister for Refugee Affairs Jamahir Anwari and Pakistani officials.
On Friday, the National Assembly was informed there were 1.62 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Incidentally, Pakistan is home to as many unregistered refugees.
Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Qadir Baloch said the registration of unaccounted-for refugees was ongoing. A draft policy submitted to the cabinet for consideration suggests multiple steps aiming at creating conditions conducive for voluntary repatriation.
Momand told the Express Tribune newspaper some of the steps were formalised in the meeting between Afghan and Pakistan diplomats. “Refugees will be able to use money-transfer facilities in Pakistan and will now get new Proof of Registration (PoR) Cards.”
Privy to the talks, Momand said: “We will set up special centres to issue new cards to refugees in provincial capitals and also in places where Afghans can easily get new cards.” Unregistered Afghans will not be issued PoR cards.
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