Pak extends stay of Afghan refugees by 3 months

Islamabad: Pakistan has extended the stay of registered Afghan refugees by three months.

The decision was taken at the meeting of federal cabinet chaired by Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported, citing a statement from the prime minister’s office, as saying on Saturday.

According to the statement, the cabinet meeting discussed in detail the issue of extension in stay of the Afghan refugees. During the meeting, it was agreed upon to grant an interim extension of three months to the registered refugees living in the country.

In addition to this, it was further decided to table the issue before the incoming elected government that will be constituted post the July 25 general elections in Pakistan, the report said.

The extended stay period of the registered Afghan refugees based in Pakistan expired on Saturday.

It is pertinent to mention that nearly 1.3 million registered and around 1 million unregistered Afghans have been living in Pakistan for decades.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is making an effort to pave the way for the return of the Afghan refugees from the neighboring countries, in particular, Pakistan which presently hosts hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees, reported Afghan news agency Khaama Press.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in February, stated that the government is committed to bring changes in its priorities in a bid to pave the way for the return of the refugees.