Pakistan not extending deadline for refugees return
KABUL (Pajhwok): A meeting on policy recommendations and registration of Afghan refugees was said to be attended by senior officials in Islamabad and decided that deadline for repatriation of Afghan refugees would not be extended beyond December 31 2015.
A Pakistani The Daily Times newspaper reported that the deadline which was extended by the government of Pakistan after a Tripartite agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and UNHCR. The proof of registration (PoR) cards of Afghan refugees would no longer be valid after 31st December 2015. The meeting also decided that those refugees living in urban areas would be sent back to refugee camps and for this purpose new sites for refugee camps would also be established.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government also suggested that the burden of refugees should be shared equally by all provinces. The government also decided to take the matter up to UNHCR to not to extend the deadline. It was also decided that the productive and skillful Afghan refugees could be offered an incentive to live in urban areas if they could be helpful in national economy.
The chief commissioner for Afghan refugees briefed the participants about current status of Afghan refugees. The meeting also decided that those Afghan refugees with illegal status would be sent back. The Afghan nationals living in Pakistan are categorised in 3 categories I) those living without any visa and registration card, ii) registered afghan refugees and iii) afghan nationals visiting Pakistan on medical and educational grounds.
The meeting further decided to provide funds to facilitate NADRA to have a database of all refugees and the process is expected to start soon. This will protect registered Afghan refugees from any harassment by law enforcing agencies. The SAFRON secretary is expected to visit Afghanistan and Geneva to raise the issue of Afghan refugees in the light of recent developments.
The meeting was attended by the SAFRON secretary and defence secretary along with the KP home secretary, the additional home secretaries of Punjab, Sindh and Balochstan, the SAFRON senior joint secretaries, ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs and the Director General interior and the Foreign Office DG with officials from intelligence agencies.
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