Pak govt yet to kick off registration of Afghan refugees
KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistan has yet to start registering undocumented Afghan nationals as outlined in the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP), devised to deal with terrorism in the aftermath of Army Public School tragedy, media reports.
The Dawn.com reported that over one million unregistered Afghan nationals, who were supposed to be registered in the fulfillment of the plan, still stay undocumented while two years extension in the stay of registered refugees is also on the card.
The exercise to register the undocumented Afghans has delayed twice. The ministry of states and frontier regions (Safron) had first fixed July 25 to kick start the registration process but later deferred the drive to August 25.
The ministry has released Rs170 million to National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to undertake countrywide documentation process of the Afghans for which it has planned to set up 22 centres in the four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Estimated cost of the plan has been billed at Rs500 million.
Safron Secretary Pir Bakhsh Jamali told Dawn on Thursday that interior ministry had some observations over the process that caused the delay. Like registered refugees, the government would not issue Proof of Registration cards to undocumented Afghans, he added.
Officials said that approximately one million Afghans were residing in the country without legal documents. Registration of undocumented Afghan nationals was included in the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s 20 points NAP that was announced on December 25, 2014.
“Formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, beginning with registration of all refugees,” said 19th point of NAP, but federal and provincial governments have yet to work out feasible solution to the issue except snap action by the police and other law enforcement agencies.
Majority of these unregistered Afghans have been living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The government planned to obtain accurate data of Afghan nationals through registration. Officials said that around 13,000 unregistered Afghans had been arrested in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after enforcement of NAP and cases were registered against 6,000 Afghans.
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