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Registration of Afghans in Pakistan

Briefing notes

Registration of Afghans in Pakistan

16 February 2007

The registration of Afghans in Pakistan ended yesterday (Thursday), with over 2.16 million Afghans registered in the four-month government exercise to provide official documentation to Afghan citizens in Pakistan.

In all, 2,161,984 Afghans were registered between October 2006 and yesterday. Of the total, 1,368,316 were registered in North West Frontier Province; 454,726 in Balochistan; 240,698 in Punjab and Islamabad; 92,189 in Sindh; and 6,055 in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Almost 60 percent of those registered are women and children under five years of age.

All registered Afghans above the age of five receive Proof of Registration (PoR) cards valid till December 2009, recognizing them as Afghan citizens temporarily living in Pakistan. Children under five are listed on one of their parents' cards. The government has announced that Afghans without PoR cards will be considered illegal migrants. It is giving Afghans without PoR cards a six-week grace period - from 1 March to 15 April - to repatriate voluntarily with UNHCR assistance.

More than 2.87 million Afghans have returned home from Pakistan since 2002, including over 133,000 in 2006.

The data collected through registration will provide a clear profile of registered Afghans in Pakistan today. This will help UNHCR and the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to jointly plan and manage the registered Afghan population in Pakistan. The US$6 million registration exercise has received funding from the governments of the European Commission, the United States and the United Kingdom. It was implemented by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) with the support of the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CAR) and UNHCR.