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Undocumented Afghans spurn Pakistan’s new deadline

Undocumented Afghans spurn Pakistan’s new deadline

Jan 09, 2018 - 11:35

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Unregistered Afghans have urged the Pakistan government to press ahead with its programme for their voluntary repatriation to the war-torn country.

While spurning a month-long deadline set for their return, the Afghan Refugees Executive Council chief warned of moving the court of law against the violation of an old agreement on their stay in Pakistan.

“We have copies of an agreement, which was signed by all relevant stakeholders, allowing refugees to stay here until the end of the current year,” Abdul Ghaffar Shinwari told a news conference in Peshawar.

He said the Pakistan government had asked the unregistered Afghan refugees to wrap up their businesses and return to their country within the next one month, creating unrest among them.

Shinwari argued it was difficult for them winding up businesses involving investments of billions of rupees within a month. Afghan businessmen regularly paid taxes and provided job to locals, he said.

Pakistan, Afghanistan governments and UNHCR should stick to the agreement on the voluntary return of refugees, he said, warning the fresh deadline would harm relations between the neighbours.

Flanked by heads of various camps across, he claimed the refugees had already begun returning to Afghanistan. He also stressed the need for the protection of the properties, assets and loans of the refugees.