UNHCR to halt repatriation process of Afghan refugees in Pakistan


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has decided to suspend the repatriation process of Afghan refugees in Pakistan for around four months due to cold weather.

According to a spokesperson of the UNHCR, the repatriation process will be halted from first of next month till 28th of February next year due to drop in temperature and severe cold.

He said all UNHCR centres in Pakistan and Afghanistan will remain closed during the winter.

Registered Afghan refugees will not be given financial compensation in case of return during the period.

The operation will resume from March next year.

On Thursday, Pak-Afghan second meeting of the Refugee Working Group (WG) on Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) was held at the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON).

Both sides deliberated on the ways to enhance mutual cooperation for a dignified, gradual, time-bound and complete return of the Afghan nationals to their country.

During the meeting, the two sides had exchanged and agreed on the rules of procedure for the meetings of the working group.

The next meeting of the APAPPS Working Group on Refugees will be held in Kabul in January next year. The first meeting was held in Kabul on July 22, 2018, as part of the inaugural session.

The Afghan delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Dr Alema.

SAFRON Secretary Mohammad Aslam led the Pakistan side in the meeting, which discussed matters related to Afghan refugees and other categories of Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan.