Kabul asks Tehran to legalise Afghan refugees' stay
KABUL (Pajhwok): As Kabul and Tehran on Sunday discussed the refugees’ problems living in Iran, Afghanistan asked the neighbor country to issue cards to unregistered Afghans and provide them visas and education facilities.
Refugees and Repatriation Minister Sayed Hussain Alami Balkhi and an Iranian delegation led by Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Zulfiqari discussed a joint proposal for legalising the Afghan refugees in that country.
A statement from the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation said both sides conferred on the registration of Afghan refugees in Iran and issuing migration cards to the unregistered ones.
Giving them travel documents protecting their residency rights and ensuring the enrolment of Afghan children in Iranian schools were the main demands made by Kabul during the meeting.
Simplifying the issue of visas, extending three months visas and sharing information about the Afghan refugees was another demand of the Afghan government.
The Iranian delegation asked Afghan officials to prevent illegal border crossings and pave the ground for refugees turning to their country.
According to figures from the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, more than two million Afghans are living in Iran, 1.4 million having legal documents and the rest unregistered.
Three days ago, a join team of experts from both countries started work on a proposal for registering illegal Afghan refugees in Iran. However, Iran’s deputy interior minister said the Afghans in his country feared coming back to Afghanistan.
Zulfiqari asked the Afghan government to encourage their return to the country. The Afghan government should provide job opportunities for educated Afghans inside the country, he suggested.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.