Registered Afghan refugees can stay another year, says Pakistan

Jul 11, 2024

Registered Afghan refugees can stay another year, says Pakistan

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 11: Pakistan on Wednesday extended for a year the stay of Afghan refugees who live in the country legally amid the ongoing forced expulsion of illegal immigrants.
Pakistan began last year a massive crackdown on illegal immigrants. More than half a million Afghan refugees have since left the country for their war-battered homeland, according to official statics.
Islamabad early this year announced it would also expel those Afghans who are registered as refugees by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
But the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has now allowed the legal refugees to stay until the end of June 2025, fulfilling a demand by the UNHCR, an official statement by his office said.
The move comes a day after the UNHCR chief met with Sharif during his visit to Pakistan. Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees since the Russian invasion of their country in 1979.
An influx of around 1 million additional immigrants from Afghanistan arrived in
Pakistan since Kabul fell to the Taliban in 2021.
Pakistan announced the expulsion after an increase in cross-border attacks by Islamist militants allegedly operating from their hideouts in Afghanistan.
Islamabad has been pushing Kabul to take action against the Pakistani Taliban, a group different from their Afghan counterparts.
Source: Qatar Tribune