Iran regularising plans to expel Afghans
TEHRAN (Pajhwok): Iran has been trying to regularise plans on how to repatriate Afghan refugees after next six months, an Iranian Ministry of Interior official told a visiting Afghan delegation a day earlier.
Dr. Aziz Kazemi, who serves as head of the Interior Ministry's Bureau of Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs, told the Afghan delegation that one and a half millions legal and an estimated similar number of undocumented Afghan refugees were living in Iran.
The visiting Afghan delegation is comprised of officials from information and culture and foreign affairs ministries and some journalists.
Kazemi said Iran had agreed with the new Afghan government to extend temporary visas for 450, 000 Afghan refugees for six months.
The agreement was reached last month when Second Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Mohaqqiq visited Iran.
To a question by Pajhwok reporter whether the Afghan refugees would be deported after the six months’ period, Dr. Kazemi said they had constituted a committee tasked with regularising the expatriation process.
Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture official Samin Hassanzada, who is leading the delegation, said the Iranian Embassy in Kabul charged 300 Euros per visa extension.
“Most Afghan families do not afford to pay the amount and Iran should assist Afghanistan in this regard,” she added.
In response, the Iranian official said the matter was related to municipalities, but efforts would be made resolve it.
He said the charges were part of his country’s immigration policies and the money was given back to those returning home.
It seems Tehran is serious in sending back Afghan refugees, but it is said President Ashraf Ghani will visit the neighbouring country to discuss with Iranian officials the Afghan refugees besides other issues of mutual interest.
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