Afghan refugees in Balochistan don’t want to return: UN
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Pakistan Maya Ameratunga said officials from Islamabad, Kabul and Tehran recently discussed a repatriation plan.
“Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iranian officials gathered in Geneva to devise a strategy to repatriate the refugees. Pakistan is the country that has hosted refugees for the longest period,” Maya told a seminar in Quetta.
Living under hard conditions in Pakistan, about 1.5 million refugees believe the security situation there was better than in Afghanistan, the Express Tribune quoted the UNHCR official as saying.
UNHCR Sub-Office head in Quetta Fabio Varoli said the refugees were not involved in terrorist or subversive activity. “UNHCR cooperates with the local administration when it comes to security.” he said.
At least 626,000 Afghan refugees have been repatriated between 2002 and 2014 from Balochistan, according to Dunya Aslam Khan, another UNHCR official, who gave a presentation on the repatriation process and mechanism.
The UN agency says there are 327,788 registered refugees in Balochistan. But the provincial administration claims there are around one million illegal Afghan immigrants in the province.
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