Pakistan extends stay for Afghan refugees' by 3 months
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, chairing a meeting of the federal capital in Islamabad, approved the three-month extension, pushing back the previous deadline.
Islamabad had previously set the December 31 for Afghan refugees, who can now legally live in Pakistan until March 2017. .
Around 2.5 million legal and undocumented Afghan refugees are currently living in Pakistan, which has recently intensified pressure on them to go back to their homeland.
The cabinet meeting reviewed the extension of Proof Registration (PoR) Cards and Tripartite Agreement on registered Afghan refugees.
Faced with a host of challenges, the Ashraf Ghani administration says it is ready for absorbing the returnees. However, the refugees complain of inadequate facilities in Afghanistan.
Addressing the meeting, Sharif called Afghans his dear brothers, promising concrete steps to ensured the facilitation of the refugees living in Pakistan.
“They are our guests and their return plans will be decided in a way that does not create any negative impression in the minds of the people living on both sides of the border,” he remarked.
He directed the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions to hold broad based-consultations with leaders of mainstream political parties and Afghan representatives in addressing the concerns of refugees.
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