QUETTA - The senior protection officer UNHCR Balochistan has said that approximately 2,000 refugees of 235 Afghan families have repatriated to their hometowns in Afghanistan during the current week. Talking to media persons here on Tuesday, she said that some 2,874 families comprising of 14,087 individuals had been returned home since January 2012 from Balochistan.
She said that the trend of voluntarily repatriation had increased to 39 per cent compared to previous year as under the voluntary repatriation process; the UNHCR had supported over 50,000 Afghan refugees so far during the current year while the number of repatriated refugees last year was 32,000.
She said so far UNHCR had facilitated the voluntary return of more than 3.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan since 2002, adding the return process is purely on voluntarily basis and every person opting to return is advised to make a well informed decision. She noted that UNHCR was striving hard to remove the additional burden of refugee on Pakistan and supported Pakistan’s endeavours it is taking to ensure health, education, and other basic facilities to the refugees.
Murtaza Khazmi, Afghan Attache for refugees, said that there was tangible improvement in the law and order and security situation in Afghanistan that paved way for the safe return of the large number of Afghans to their hometown.
He said Afghan government had established 63 towns for the refugees living in Pakistan and Iran adding further steps taken by the Afghan government in war-torn Afghanistan would greatly result in massive repatriation of refugees living across the camps in Pakistan.