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Pakistan may extend Afghan refugees' stay

Pakistan may extend Afghan refugees' stay

Jun 14, 2013 - 11:25

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The new Pakistani government may extend the stay of more than 1.6 million Afghan refugees living in the neighbouring country, a media report said on Friday.

All registered Afghans will automatically lose their refugee status on June 30 when the agreement on their stay in Pakistaninfo-icon is scheduled to expire, according to the Dawn newspaper.

The daily quoted officials as saying he newly federal government would have little choice but to extending the stay of the Afghans. The current six-month extension from January 1 had been granted in response to requests from President Hamid Karzai and the international community.

Commissioner of Afghan Refugees Ziaur Rehman told the newspaper: “Registered Afghans will become illegal if the government does not legalise them before July 1.”

Since more than 1.6 million Afghans were living unlawfully in Pakistan, the number would double if the refugees' status was not renewed, the official said, adding Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch had been briefed on the issue.

Last year, the Peshawar High Court had ordered the federal government not to grant further extension to registered refugees. But the Supreme Court set aside the verdict.

PAN Monitor/mud


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