Undocumented Afghan refugees to be deported from April


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt General (Retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch has said that process of deporting undocumented Afghan refugees will start from the first week of April.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly on Friday, he said that around 400,000 Afghan refugees had opted not to register themselves and they will be treated as aliens, not refugees. The minister said that around one million Afghan refugees got themselves registered.

To another question, Abdul Qadir Baloch said that 19 educational and 14 health projects have been completed in border areas of Balochistan.

The government had announced last month that it encouraged the voluntary return of refugees back to Afghanistan. There are close to 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan while another 400,000 are unregistered. The government had extended the stay of registered Afghan refugees for 60 days on January 31, a period that ends on March 31st.

The Afghan government has persistently argued that it will not be able to accommodate more than a million refugees if they are forced to leave.