Over 100,000 registered Afghan refugees repatriated in 8 months

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ISLAMABAD, Sept 5 (APP): Over 100,000 registered Afghan refugees have been repatriated to Afghanistan from January 1 to August 31 this year through the Voluntary Repatriation Centers of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

According to UNHCR spokesperson Dunya Aslam, some 70,000 Afghan refugees were repatriated from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5,000 from  Balochistan, 1,800 from Sindh, 12,200 from Punjab, 1,500 from  Islamabad and 230 from Azad Kashmir.

The number of Afghan refugees being returned to their
country had slightly increased due to raise in cash grant from
$ 200 to $400 per person, she told APP on Monday.

The UNHCR, she said, had facilitated the return of  over 3.9 million registered Afghan refugees from Pakistan  under its voluntary repatriation programme since 2002.

She, however, said the UNHCR did not have any record of
how many undocumented Afghans had returned from Pakistan or  crossed the border on daily basis. The Pak-Afghan border was  porous with many illegal and unofficial crossing points, she added.

It may be added that UNHCR’s mandate in Pakistan only covers registered Afghan refugees with valid Proof of
Registration (PoR) cards who stay or 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 the country until December 31, 2016 and it ensures that the refugees have freedom of movement within Pakistan.