ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided not to entertain any request regarding extension of stay of the Afghan refugees and has decided to expedite the process of their repatriation.
Sources in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and diplomatic circles said Islamabad has taken a principled stance over the issue after receiving concerns from the Afghan government and has decided not to allow any extension in the stay of these refugees in the camps,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has time and again claimed that militants manage to enter the refugee camp settled in Pakistan and re-enter Afghanistan to take part in terrorist activities.
Pakistan government had given a final deadline of December 31, 2015 for the return of these refugees, who has been staying in Pakistan for more than thirty years. However, the UNHCR failed to accomplish the task due to various factors.
“Now the Islamabad, after receiving complaints regarding involvement of some elements staying in these camps in terrorist activities, has finally decided that the Afghan refugees will not be allowed an extension in their stay and will be repatriated at the earliest,” a source said.
He said the government is devising a strict policy to allow only the persons having legal traveling documents will be allowed to cross the border from Afghan side.
“Checking the cross border movement of such elements and addressing concerns raised by the Afghan government will only be possible when all the Afghan refugees staying in these camps are repatriated at the earliest,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2016.