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Pakistan promises nationality for refugee children

Pakistan promises nationality for refugee children

Sep 17, 2018 - 08:50

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Immigrants from Afghanistaninfo-icon and Bangladesh will be granted Pakistani nationality, Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised.

Children of Afghan and Bengali refugees and migrant workers in Pakistaninfo-icon would get Pakistani passports and identity cards, he said on Sunday evening.

Khan made the announcement at a fund-raising dinner in the port city of Karachi, hours after the four provinces voiced their unwillingness to accommodate undocumented Afghan refugees.

At an inter-ministerial meeting, provincial representatives cited security concerns while refusing to let in illegal Afghans.

Pakistan hosts about three million registered and undocumented Afghan refugees, whose children consider their country as their home.

"These people, who are originally from Afghanistan, do not get passports or ID cards," the prime minister said, adding his government would give them nationality.

“When those who were born and grew up in Pakistan don’t get jobs for want of identity cards, they indulge in crimes,” he said. Those living in Pakistan for more than 40 years would be issued identity cards and passports, he concluded.

Political Affairs Expert Entezar Khadem says Pakistan should cooperate in Afghan reconciliation and peace process adding the issue of awarding citizenship can be taken up in the later stages.

He said Pakistan did not practice their commitment regarding Afghanistan and termed the it merely a claim which the new Pakistan Prime Minister wanted to strengthen his slogan of a New Pakistan.

He said the citizenship move was not in the interest of Afghanistan as many Afghan educated citizens and business class lived there and Afghanistan may suffer from human resources. 


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