400,000 undocumented Afghan refugees registered in 4 months

F.P. Report

Islamabad: Around 400,000 undocumented Afghan refugees have been registered by the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) through the new Afghan refugees’ registration policy which was launched on August 16, 2017.

The International Organization of Migration, which assists and monitors the movement of migrants across the world, reported that 248,189 undocumented Afghan nationals had returned or were deported from Pakistan in 2016.

An official source of Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) here on Sunday, he said that International Organization for Migration (IOM) looking this process of registration.

He said that the process of registering of one million Afghan refugees to be completed by January 16, 2018 and in this regard 21 registration centers had been established in the different parts of the country.

He said that including the registered Afghan refugees process, two hundred and thirty thousand refugees had been registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The country has some 1.5 million registered refugees, one of the largest such populations in the world, according to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR). More than a million others are estimated to live here unregistered.

The government is issuing Afghan Citizen Card (ACC) to them after their registration that will legalize their stay in Pakistan for indefinite period without getting refugee status. The process is part of 20-point National Action Plan that was unveiled in early 2015. Over 200,000 unregistered Afghan nationals went back to Afghanistan in 2016 when law enforcement agencies launched crackdown against them.

“Approximately 40 to 45 per cent of the applicants are Afghan passport holders,” he said. He said that most of the Afghan citizens wanted to obtain ACC because of instability and fighting in their war-torn country. He said that Afghan nationals did not show their passport when they visited registration centres.