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Pakistan extends stay of registered Afghan refugees by one year

The federal Cabinet of Pakistan on Wednesday approved a one-year extension of Proof of Registration (POR) cards for 1.45 million Afghan refugees legally residing in the country.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said that the extension in the POR cards expired last month and has been granted until 30th of June next year.

Last October, the caretaker government of Pakistan had announced the repatriation of all illegal foreigners citing security concerns. Over 500,000 undocumented Afghan nationals have been sent back to their country since last year.

The statistics by the United Nations show that Pakistan is home to over 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees.

The meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif took the decision amid reports that Pakistan had suspended the repatriation of Afghans without legal documents.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson, Qaisar Khan Afridi in a statement to the media welcomed the government’s decision, sa
ying, “this is a big relief for refugees who were facing uncertainty and anxiety.” The generous gesture demonstrated Pakistan’s commitment to the global refugee cause and showed solidarity and compassion towards refugees at a time when displaced people need our support,” he said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency