Around 800,000 (0.8 million) unregistered Afghan refugees have been documented under Afghan Citizen Card (ACC) project introduced after the approval of Federal Cabinet to give them identity. These Afghans will be linked with government of Afghanistan and repatriated with assistance of International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Highlighting the steps taken by government for repatriation of Afghan Refugees from the country during last four years, sources at States and Frontier Regions Division on Sunday said a comprehensive policy for Management and Repatriation of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan is also under consideration. The sources said repatriation of registered Afghan Refugees is guided by principle of voluntarism and gradualism as embedded in Tripartite Agreement signed between governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The sources said Federal Cabinet in its meeting held on January 03, 2018 extended legal stay of registered Afghan refugees holding Proof of Registration (PoR) cards and Tripartite Agreement upto January 31, 2018. The Ministry of SAFRON also submitted summary for further extension in PoR Cards and Tripartite Agreement till June 30, 2018 which is under consideration of the Cabinet.
The sources said under this programme more than 4.3 million registered Afghan refugees have been repatriated to Afghanistan since 2002 which is marked as the largest voluntary repatriation programme in UNHCR’s history. The government of Pakistan encourages repatriation of Afghan nationals to their country of origin. Repatriation of Afghans is also considered as the most preferred option.—APP