Chief Minister Pervez Khattak

KP CM orders registration of unregistered Afghan refugees

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak today directed the concerned departments to ensure registration of unregistered Afghan refugees in coordination with the Afghan consulate.

The Afghan Ambassador Dr. Hazrat Umar Zakhelwal has called on KPK Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak at CM house Peshawar and during the meeting the Chief Minister said that seats have been reserved in educational institutions for Afghan students.

They assured close coordination between police of the two countries.

Later week, a senior U.N. official urged Pakistan to resolve the status of more than 2.5 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan whose registration cards have expired or who remain unregistered.

While Europe has grappled with the exodus of people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan hosts the world’s largest long-term refugee population, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), most of whom are Afghans who have fled more than three decades of war.

In December, registration cards providing temporary legal stay to more than 1.5 million Afghan refugees expired, and were granted a six-month extension by the government.

But Afghans say they are hassled by police for carrying the expired cards, and members of the estimated one million Afghans who are still unregistered also face difficulties with the authorities, aid workers say.

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner George Okoth-Obbo said his agency was engaged in “continuing discussions” with the Pakistani government to resolve the population’s uncertain situation.

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