Nawaz Sharif extends Afghan refugees’ stay for 6 months
Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, also special representative of President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan, said the decision to extend the stay of Afghan refugees had been made by Nawaz Sharif.
The deadline for Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan was set for tomorrow, June 30, but Sharif, who is currently under medical treatment in London, ordered the officials concerned to extend the stay of refugees until December 31, 2016.
The extension would offer a chance to the two countries and the international community to hold key talks on Afghan refugees’ return to their country, the envoy added.
According to UNHCR, currently 1.5 million registered and 1 million unregistered Afghan refugees are residing in Pakistan. This comes as UNHCR announced to double assistance for registered Afghan refugees opting to return to Afghanistan from Pakistan.
The organization said assistance package for Afghan returnees has increased from $200 to $400 per person.
On the other hand, Zakhilwal during his meetings with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz discussed the harassment of Afghan refugees by Pakistani police and some other issues.
He talked with Dar about commerce and transit trade and the minister pledged to provide facilities to Afghan products transportation through Wagah border to India.
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