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Pakistan: Taliban endorses Afghan return plan

Briefing notes

Pakistan: Taliban endorses Afghan return plan

25 February 2000

A repatriation commission meeting between the Taliban, the government of Pakistan and UNHCR was held in Kabul on Wednesday (23 Feb.) to endorse a UNHCR repatriation plan for the return of at least 100,000 Afghan refugees from Pakistan this year. UNHCR will provide logistical assistance to the returnees.

Under the Afghanistan amnesty law of 1997, the Taliban agrees that returnees will be exempt from conscription and will be able to recover their properties and land. UNHCR will be allowed to monitor the repatriation process on both sides of the border.

An information campaign will be conducted by UNHCR and Taliban officials in the refugee villages in Pakistan to inform the population on the conditions of reintegration in the areas of return.

Pakistan is still hosting more than 1.2 million Afghan refugees. The majority are living in 203 refugee villages in Baluchistan and Punjab provinces of Pakistan. More than 2.5 million have returned home since 1990, of whom 92,000 returned in 1999.