Nangarhar to build township for returning refugees
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Officials in eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday said a township would be constructed for Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan.
Nangarhar refugee and repatriation director Ghulam Haidar Faqirzai told Pajhwok Afghan News that a large number of Afghan refugees had recently returned from Pakistan.
He said 400 to 700 Afghan families or 3,000 individuals were daily returning from Pakistan through the Torkham border crossing.
Faqirzai has no information about the exact number of refugees returned so far. He said Pakistani police were creating problems for Afghan refugees, forcing them to leave for Afghanistan.
Pressure on Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan increased after Afghan and Pakistani forces clashed at Torkham border about a month ago.
To a question, Faqirzai said 80 percent of the returnees were those who lacked legal documents to stay in the neighbouring country.
“Only 20 percent of Afghan families have voluntarily returned to Afghanistan,” he said, adding that each refugee having legal stay documents received $380 to $420 for returning to Afghanistan.
“Each family that possessed legal documents for residence in Pakistan is assisted with $300 for going back home country,” Faqirzai added.
About housing facilities for the returnees, he said they had been provided residence facilities in Sheikh Mesri, Chamtal and Qasimabad areas.
A township would be also built in Behsud district to resolve refugees’ residence problem, he said, adding the township would help refugees belonging to Nangarhar to have homes.
He said all houses illegally built in Sheikh Mesri City that created problems for refugees were destroyed today. “Refugee townships are for families returning to their country, other people are not allowed to build houses there,” he said.
A day earlier, the Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation said around 200,000 Afghan refugees had returned home during the past six months.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around 1.5 million registered and one million unregistered Afghan refugees still live in Pakistan.
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