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Senators advise govt-level pact on Pakistani citizenship

Senators advise govt-level pact on Pakistani citizenship

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Sep 18, 2018 - 20:08

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghan lawmakers on Tuesday expressed a mixed reaction over Pakistaninfo-icon’s announcement to grant citizenship to Afghan and Bengali refugees born in that country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan during his first visit to Karachi on Sunday indicated passports would be given not only to children who were born and brought up in the country but also their parents.

Speaking at today’s session of the upper house in Kabul, senator Ghairat Baheer expressed his surprise over Pakistan’s decision to grant citizenship to children of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

He said Afghan refugees living in Pakistan were “a huge national asset” and the government should take steps for their honourable repatriation.

He said granting Pakistani citizenship to Afghans was different from citizenship of other foreign countries. The lawmaker said governments of the two countries should talk on the issue.

He regretted the Afghan government’s failure to enable Afghan refugees to participate in elections in their home country.

According to UNHCR, 1.4 million documented and 400,000 undocumented Afghan refugees are still living in Pakistan.

Alam Ezedyar, deputy chairman of the Senate, also called for a government level agreement with Pakistan on the citizenship issue.

Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said the honor of Afghans was in their own country’s citizenship.

But Mohammad Hassan Hotak, another lawmaker, said the Pakistani citizenship was in the interest of Afghans and hoped the Pakistani prime minister would implement the plan so Afghan refugees live a honorable life in the neighboring country.

nh/ma

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