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370,000 Afghans in Pakistan yet to receive cards

370,000 Afghans in Pakistan yet to receive cards

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Nov 13, 2017 - 10:17

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The government of Pakistaninfo-icon is yet to start issuing cards to about 370,000 Afghan citizens who were recently registered across the country.

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has not even printed the cards for the documented Afghan nationals, a leading Pakistani newspaper reported on Monday.

An unnamed official told Dawn:  “The authority is supposed to issue card to Afghan nationals soon after completing the registration process.” Backlog has increased due to delay in card printing.

Initiated on August 16, the countrywide registration of undocumented Afghans will come to an end on January 16, 2018. About a million Afghan citizens living in Pakistan without valid documents are to be registered.

The illegal aliens will be issued with Afghan Citizen Cards (ACC) legalising their stay in Pakistan for an indefinite period of time after registration. However, they will not be given refugee status.

More than 200,000 unregistered Afghan citizens returned to their homeland last year when law-enforcement agencies launched a crackdown on them.

The registration campaign is being conducted by NADRA in collaboration with Afghan Commissionerate and the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation.

At least 21 registration centres have been set up across the country, including 11 in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The project will account for Rs175 million.

Of the 370,000 Afghans documented over the last four months, 230,000 are living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The province is hosting over half a million undocumented Afghans.

“Approximately 40 to 45 per cent of the applicants are Afghan passport holders,” one official was quoted as saying. Most of the Afghan citizens want to obtain ACC because of instability and fighting in their country.

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