Islamabad, 7 February 2017 – The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) welcomes the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan’s decision to adopt a national policy relating to the management of refugees and Afghans nationals in Pakistan.
The decision to extend the validity of the Proof of Registration cards to some 1.3 million registered Afghans refugees until the end of 2017; a pledge to document Afghan nationals who currently have no identification; a commitment to adopt a national refugee law; and a visa regime for different categories of Afghan nationals was approved at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday.
UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Indrika Ratwatte said: “Today’s announcement is a step change for Afghan refugees and those Afghans without documentation living in Pakistan. The introduction of a visa regime has a potentially transformative impact on people’s daily lives.”
UNHCR appreciates the Government of Pakistan’s support to Afghan refugees for nearly four decades. UNHCR will continue to seek robust international support for voluntary repatriation and more equitable responsibility-sharing to fully support Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan.