The federal government has decided to initiate a drive to register all Afghan nationals residing in the country without proper documentation on August 25, insiders told The Express Tribune on Monday.
The initiative will be launched in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Earlier, the registration drive was expected to begin from August 3. However, the scheme was put on hold owing to a lack of funds and facilities.
“All required funds have now been released to NADRA to kick-start the initiative,” Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees AC Waqar Maroof told The Express Tribune. “The registration drive will be completed within six months.”
The drive is being conducted on the request of both the federal and provincial governments to collect data on Afghan nationals who are living in the country.
On the cards
Insiders familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune the registration of Afghan nationals is part of the National Action Plan and is being cited crucial in the war against terror.
Officials of the CAR said registration centres will be established in Peshawar, Nowshera, Haripur, Mansehra, Kohat, Hangu, Mardan and Dir.
A number of registration centres will be established in Quetta and other main cities in Balochistan as well.
Voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees has slowed down in recent months. However, a representative of UNHCR told The Express Tribune voluntary repatriation is still in progress.
“23,700 people from 8,800 families have returned to Afghanistan this year,” he said. “A majority of them were repatriated during the first two months of 2015 when the crackdown against Afghan nationals was initiated.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2015.