Islamabad orders halt to arrest of Afghans
KARACHI (Pajhwok): Pakistan’s federal government has instructed provinces to stop detaining Afghan refugees and remain in contact on the issue with ministries of interior and foreign affairs.
In a letter, whose copy is available to Pajhwok Afghan News, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry directed the provincial governments to comply with the central government’s policy regarding the refugees.
The directives came after Afghan Ambassador Janan Mosazai phoned Chaudhry in late February, complaining that arrests of Afghans and raids on their houses by law-enforcers had become a serious concern for the government in Kabul.
Mosazai told the foreign secretary the Afghan government is serious about the return of refugees to their country. The ambassador urged Pakistani to continue to extend its traditional hospitality to Afghan refugees till their respectable return.
In his letter to the provinces, the foreign secretary said in the wake of a deadly attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, where 153 students and teachers were killed, Afghan refugees had been faced with serious problems.
The neighbours have reportedly agreed on setting up a joint committee to work out a mechanism for the documentation of unregistered Afghan nationals in Pakistan.
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