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Pakistan to extend refugee registration cards: UNHCR

The Pakistan government has agreed to extend the proof of registration (PoR) cards for Afghan refugees till the end of 2017, the UN refugee agency has said.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative Indrika Ratwatte said this at a meeting with Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai on Wednesday.

At a recent tripartite meeting in Kabul, he recalled, Pakistan had told Afghan and UN officials that validity of the cards had been recommended to be extended till Dec 31, 2017.

Every effort would be made to avoid gaps in the registration status in line with Pakistan’s policy on voluntary repatriation and management of the Afghan nationals beyond 2015.

Ratwatte told journalists after the meeting that at 290,000 Afghan refugees were living in Balochistan in urban areas as well as refugee villages.

About refugees’ involvement in terrorist activities, he said blaming the Afghans for all crimes in the province or other parts of the country was unfair.

The UN representatives remarked: “A majority of the refugees are indeed contributing to the development of the region and they deserve to be treated with compassion.” (PAN)

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