Pakistan to review policy on Afghan refugees

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari addressing a press conference on February 2, 2023

Pakistan to review its policy on Afghan refugees, says KP IG.

He says the arrival of Afghan nationals will be regulated.

PESHAWAR: The government has focused on revising the policy regarding Afghan refugees as the top committee has taken a decision in this regard, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari.

The arrival of Afghan nationals to Pakistan will be regulated so that they can be sent back after their visas expire. Several hundred thousand people came to Pakistan with a valid visa but didn't return to their country. All illegal Afghans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the rest of the country will also be arrested and deported.

An apex committee headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif set the course. Now the issue of terrorism will be discussed with the Afghan government.

The IGP said that Afghan refugees living under the law will not be harassed and can stay in Pakistan as they have the UN Card of Registration (POR) and other relevant documents. But illegal Afghan refugees have no right to stay in Pakistan.

Ansari said that in the Apex Committee meeting, it was decided to regulate the Afghan refugees as most of the Afghan refugees do not return to Afghanistan and stay here. It was therefore decided that action would be taken against Afghan refugees living illegally and all illegal Afghan nationals would be deported. In addition, UNHCR asylum seekers, Afghan refugees with refugee cards and Afghan citizens with visas will also be regulated.

He said that under the new policy, Afghan nationals who come to Pakistan will inform the police about their whereabouts. FIA and police will check whether Afghan nationals are available at the address or not. In addition, they will have to provide a local guarantor in Pakistan for visa purposes and residency.

"There is no justification for Afghan refugees who live illegally and come without passport and visa, these people will be arrested and deported," the IGP reiterated.

He said that the Peshawar Police had approached those involved in the blast and important progress would be made in the case soon.

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