ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday decided that the deadline for repatriation of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan will not be extended beyond December 31, 2015, and that all refugees living in urban area will be shifted to designated camps.
During a high level meeting on policy recommendations for repatriation and registration of Afghan refugees in Pakistan at the ministry of States and Frontier Region (SAFRON), the government decided that there will be no extension in the deadline for return of refugees beyond December 31, 2015.
The government had in December extended the deadline for return of refugees to December 2015, after a tripartite agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and UNHCR. The agreement was provisioned to invalidate proof of registration (PoR) cards for Afghan refugees beyond December 31 2105.
It was decided to take up this issue with UNHCR.
The meeting also decided that till their repatriation, all Afghan refugees, who had taken up accommodation in urban areas, will be shifted back to refugee camps. For this, new camps will also be established. NADRA will also be provided funds to to create a database of all refugees.
Further, the government deliberated on providing work permits to productive and skillful refugees which would allow them to live in urban areas, provided they add to the national economy.
Those refugees with an illegal status, will be deported.
During Wednesday's meeting, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government suggested that the burden of refugees should be shared equally by all provinces.
Afghan nationals living in Pakistan are divided in three categories I) those living without any visa and registration card, II) registered Afghan refugees and III) Afghan nationals visiting Pakistan on medical and educational grounds.
The meeting was attended by Secretary SAFRON and Defense Secretary along with home K-P Secretary, Additional Home Secretaries of Punjab, Sindh and Balochstan, Senior Joint Secretaries of SAFRON, Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DG Interior and DG Foreign Office with officials from intelligence agencies.
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