Afghan refugees’ PoR cards to be extended till 2017Pakistan
QUETTA: The Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Indrika Ratwatte, has said that the government of Pakistan has agreed to extend the validity of PoR cards till Dec 31, 2017.
During a meeting with Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai here on Wednesday, he said that in the tripartite meeting held in Kabul, the Pakistan officials had informed the Afghan authorities and the UNHCR that pending inter-ministerial deliberations and a decision by the cabinet, the validity of the PoR (Proof of Registration) cards had been recommended to be extended till Dec 31, 2017.
He said the meeting was also informed that every effort would be made to avoid any gap in registration status in line with the government of Pakistan’s policy on voluntary repatriation and management of Afghan nationals beyond 2015.
He apprised the governor of the UNCHR’s RAHA programme and its implementation.
Mr Ratwatte during a talk with journalists said that at present 290,000 Afghan refugees had been living in Balochistan in urban areas and refugee villages.
In reply to a question about refugees’ involvement in criminal and terrorist activities, Mr Ratwatte said that blaming Afghan refugees for all sorts of crimes taking place in the province or other parts of the country was unfair.
“A majority of the refugees are indeed contributing to the development of the region and they deserve to be treated with compassion and humility,” he said.
Mr Ratwatte said the UNHCR was currently implementing RAHA projects in eight districts of Balochistan with the objective of maintaining social cohesion through community development, improved livelihood and local economies, restoration of social services and infrastructure and restoration of environment.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2015
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