Over 26,355 Registered Afghan Refugees Repatriated This Year

Over 26,355 registered Afghan refugees repatriated this year

ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 3rd Augst,2016) : Over 26,355 registered Afghans have returned to Afghanistan so far this year from January 1 to July 31 through the Voluntary Repatriation Centers of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). An official source told APP here on Wednesday, he said that some 19,062 Afghan refugees repatriated from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,886 from Balochistan, 862 from Sindh, 3,168 from Punjab, 305 from Islamabad and 72 from Azad Kashmir.

With the weather improving and the increase in cash grant from US$ 200 to 400 per person the number of returning families is slightly increasing. To a question he said that in the last week of July, some 7,864 registered Afghan refugees have returned through UNHCR's assistance from Pakistan ( this include refugee from KP, Balochistan, Sindh, Azad Kashmir, Punjab and Islamabad). The UNHCR facilitates the voluntary return of registered Afghan refugees from Pakistan under its facilitated voluntary repatriation programme which is ongoing since 2002.

From its start until this date more than 3.9 million Afghan refugees have return from Pakistan, he added. He said that UNHCR does not have any documented proof or record of how many undocumented Afghans have returned from Pakistan or cross the border on daily basis as border is so porous with many illegal and unofficial crossing points. UNHCR's mandate in Pakistan only covers registered Afghan refugees, with valid Proof of Registration (PoR) cards who stay/reside within the boundaries of the country of asylum.

The Proof of Registration card, issued by the Government of Pakistan to registered Afghan refugees is an important protection document, which entitles its holder to stay in Pakistan until December 31, 2016 and it ensures that the refugees have freedom of movement within Pakistan. PoR card is not an international travel document and thus cannot be used as a visa/passport to cross international border between two countries.