Afghan refugees likely to stay until 2017

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Islamabad—The Senate was informed on Thursday that at present 1.55 million registered Afghan Refugees are residing in Pakistan. Minister for States and Frontier Region Abdul Qadir Baloch told the House during the question hours, that the Prime Minister recently extended the legal stay of registered Afghan refugees till 30th of June this year. However, there is also a proposal for extension of these refugees for till the end of next year. The Minister said since 2002, 3.9 million Afghan refugees have been repatriated to their homeland. Replying to a supplementary, he said Pakistan has commitment with the international community to repatriate Afghan Refugees with dignity and honour. He said the issue of repatriation has repeatedly been taken up with the Afghan government but it has expressed inability to provide necessary facilities and incentives for return of Refugees to their homeland. —INP