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Pakistan to extend stay for Afghans by one more year

Pakistan to extend stay for Afghans by one more year

Dec 06, 2017 - 18:22

KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistan has agreed to extending the stay of Afghan refugees by one more year in the country, a Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) official said on Wednesday.

Hafiz Ahmad Miakhel, media advisor to MoRR, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said the agreement came at trilateral meeting held in Turkey a few days ago.

He said refugee and repatriation ministers from Afghanistan and Pakistan and UNHCR representatives attended the meeting.

Afghan refugees and repatriation minister Sayed Hussain Alami Balkhi, deputy foreign minister Nasir Ahmad Andisha, advisors to the president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other officials of MoRR participated in the meeting, he added.

Miakhel said the meeting discussed Afghan refugees’ problems in Pakistan, their voluntary return, foreign support to returning Afghan families and Pakistan’s assistance with the refugees.

He said an agreement was also signed during the meeting, based on which Pakistan agreed to extend Afghan refugees’ stay in that country until December 31, 2018.

Under the previous agreement, Afghans stay in Pakistan would end at the end of December 2017.

Miakhel said UNHCR provided enough assistance to Afghan refugees who voluntary returned to their country last year. However, the UN agency reduced its aid and thus the number of returnees decreased.

He said the Afghan delegation had asked UNHCR to increase back its assistance with Afghan refugees based in Pakistan, so they could return to their country in spring season.