Afghan refugees in Pakistan to get new registration cards

Published: September 22, 2010

An Afghan refugee mother holding her children waits to be transported to Afghanistan, at a repatriation centre in Peshawar. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The government, along with United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, has launched a project to issue new registration cards to 1.7 million Afghans who are residing in Pakistan.

With financial support from UNHCR, the government will set up 11 centres throughout the country to process applications and start registering members of registered Afghan families.

The refugees are asked to bring their existing PoR cards to the renewal centres. Photocopies of lost or broken Proof of Registration(POR) cards will be accepted provided the applicant exists in the database.

With more than 3.6 million Afghan refugees who have returned home since 2002, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) in collaboration with UNHCR launched a nationwide project to issue new registration cards to 1.7 million registered Afghan citizens.

These cards are a part of the government’s strategy for the extension of the temporary stay for three years, alongside voluntary repatriation, of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

The cards will be issued through more than 45 centres by the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) starting his week until February 28, 2011.

The government has also taken the initiative to establish 17 centres to distribute birth certificates to Afghan children recognised by the government of Afghanistan.

According to a press release issued by the agency, UNHCR’s Country Representative Mengesha Kebede welcomed the Pakistan Government’s initiative to issue birth certificates to refugee children.

“Birth certificates are a primary source of identification, giving access to fundamental rights and access to services like health and education. Every child counts, so we must count every child,” Kebede said.

“The registration cards are a very important protection tool for Afghans in Pakistan, proving their legal right of stay in the country and providing protection against detention and deportation under the Foreigners Act. We very much appreciate the cooperation of the government in reissuing these cards to Afghan refugees,” Kebede continued.

Kebede said that UNHCR continued to mobilise support for the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas Programme (RAHA) aimed at supporting Afghans and their Pakistani hosting communities alike. The project aims to improve livelihoods and local economies, restore social services and infrastructure and enhancing social cohesion within communities.

Nearly 64 per cent of registered Afghans live in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 21 per cent in Balochistan, 11 per cent in Punjab and Islamabad and just 4 per cent in other areas.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2010.

Reader Comments (12)

  • Amir
    Sep 22, 2010 - 2:15PM

    I guess its time to send the refugees back to their own home country. Unless our government is milking the UN by having the camps here?

    The situation in Afghanistan has much improved so there is no need to maintain their status here. We have already welcomed them for over 30 years now. Recommend

  • Concerned Pakistani
    Sep 22, 2010 - 3:04PM

    Why should this be allowed to happen?
    We, as a country, are already too messed up on our own. We have our own problems right now. All these Afghanis in our country have exacerbated our situation. Throw them all back. Pakistan is becoming another Afghanistan. We should stop it. NOW.

    Our first mistake: helping these Afghanis to seek refuge in Pakistan. Is it really that hard to seal our borders? It’s our country. But no no no, we’re after the whole hey, we’re a Muslim Ummah concept first. Screw that, the Muslim Ummah does not EXIST right now. Pakistan first.

    I say we should even adopt a self-imposed isolationism. Tell the world to leave us alone while we figure out our problems. Seal the borders. Nobody should be allowed to move in or out.Recommend

  • Concerned Pakistani
    Sep 22, 2010 - 3:07PM

    The money being used on this stupid initiative by the government should be sent to HEC for the universities. Idiots.Recommend

  • Ghafoor
    Sep 25, 2010 - 2:54PM

    Most of afghani are dealing carpet business here in Pakistan through which the economy of pakistan stood stable in good position until now otherwise pakistan would faces more problem in an economy. even more uneducated people are employed by them and there are more other businesses through afghani there business run.
    Maybe you don’t have business relation with them that’s why you are saying to throw them.
    where ever the situation of our country is concern,that maybe be solved by our leaders. Recommend

  • Muhammad Hashim
    Sep 27, 2010 - 1:07PM

    i am an afghan citizen, living in Islamabad, my all family are digester in 2006 but i and my parents are not, because time was over, so we want to regester our names and get new citizen cards.
    please guide me.
    thanks,Recommend

  • sajid hashemi
    Sep 29, 2010 - 9:37PM

    i am from afghanistan we are living in pakistan before 30years but no one get a card to us. plz tell me that what can we do. thanks.Recommend

  • afghan
    Sep 30, 2010 - 11:41AM

    Dear All

    First of all thanks a lot for your valuable comments on UNHCR and Govt of Pakistan Joint project about Afghan Refugee, some of our friends are against the stay of Afghans in Pakistan, these are the people who are really asleep, I think you guys exactly don’t know about the benefits govt of Pakistan is getting just because of afghans, everyone knows better that Pakistan and Pakistani govt will never help Pakistanis without a profit, we are looking at the condition of Flood effected people, the main Aim of Pakistani Govt is to earn money, and everyone knows UNHCR is paying good Enough Amount for the stay of Afghans in Pakistan, one thing more if you have guts you can do everything for your country it’s not the right way to blame afghans or others, main problem of Security and economy condition of Pakistan depends on the decisions of Pakistani Govt who are just working to earn and increase their bank accounts, why don’t you take a look that now a day’s lots of Pakistanis are working in Afghanistan they are earning more than the can earn in Pakistan, a Pakistani can have a job in any organization in Afghanistan they are working, but in Pakistan afghans are not allowed, even because of respected Pakistani police they can’t do their private business, one sided thinking is wrong, Recommend

  • Shafique Ahmad
    Oct 3, 2010 - 5:48PM

    My dear brothers !
    Those comments you all put against Afghani refugees and their styaying inside pakistan
    shows your sincerity for Pakistan. Its a good sign of patriotism and every muslim should have somewhat of that, even i have too, though i left my country and living in pakistan.
    The question arises from my side is that we Afghani people are living inside pakistan since 30-35 years ago and during all those first 25 years pakistan was a very much stable pakistan! But can any pakistani cityzen imagine that the mess-up with pakistan is started since the arival of america to afghanistan! and my brothers plz dont be angry cause only Russia rejected the attacking strategy of USA on afghanistan, and Pakistan was one of the favouring country of US attack on Afghanistan,
    Afghanistan had nothing but thousands and millions of innocents to be bombard by US army. we have an idom in URDU you guys will be very much aware of its meaning:
    Jaisa karogey, waisa Barogey!link text See link Plz and dont mind the truth!Recommend

  • Mustafa
    Oct 13, 2010 - 10:20PM

    pakistan is doing this all for money coz they recieve 10 dollors per card .
    And secondly if afghans go out from pakistan so pakistan will be doomed and sinking.
    Coz afghans are the main people now a days in building pakistan Recommend

  • khan
    Oct 15, 2010 - 11:37AM

    sir , iam a afghan citizen i didn’t get a citizen card before the what should i do plzzzz guide meRecommend

  • Oct 21, 2010 - 2:14PM

    You all Pakistani are angry for afghans live in Pakistan. why? because you dont know the value of an afghan in Pakistan. first count the number of business mans doing their business in Pakistan. and giving a number of taxes here. and those taxes being a raw material for building Pakistan. you Pakistani will never get a friend. coz in balochistan a big source of gold mined. but its project gave in an Israili mining company. can you ask for that…. you people are very strong again only afghans brother. but you can do anything against people are actually enemies of Pakistan…… Recommend

  • ashrafgull
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:32PM

    strong text
    you pakistani people are very stupid people. because you people dont know the history of afghanistan. pakistan brought america to afghanistan. but thats no problem. as we beat russia we also beat these americans.
    we are sons of abdali, and mirwaise.
    here thausands of pakistani leaving in afghanistan for job. we respect them and love them. because we all are one muslims…
    thanks and sorry for any mistake.Recommend

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