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Pakistan extends stay of Afghan refugees for a month

Pakistan extends stay of Afghan refugees for a month

Jan 04, 2018 - 10:19

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The federal government has agreed to extend for a month proof of registration (POR) cards for Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.

The decision came at a federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday -- days after the US blamed Pakistan for sheltering some of the fiercest factions of the Taliban. 

In its proposal, the Ministry for State and Frontier Region had suggested extension of POR cards and the tripartite agreement among Pakistan, Afghanistan and UNHCR for a year.

However, after a detained discussion, the cabinet said the issue of early repatriation of Afghan refugees would be raised with the UN refugee agency and the global fraternity.

“Pakistan’s economy has carried the burden of hosting Afghan refugees for a long time and in the present circumstances cannot sustain it further,” the cabinet said.

The cabinet also allowed the transit of 01x40 feet STC container with 51 packages of spare parts for vehicles of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan from Karachi to Kabul.

A day earlier, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Islamabad of playing a double game for years and confirmed that US would withhold $255 million in aid to the country.

The announcement requires 1.6 million Afghan refugees, who lost their legal status on December 31, 2017, to return to their war-torn homeland.