PESHAWAR - The Peshawar High Court (PHC) made pivotal changes on Wednesday, easing regulations for Afghan refugees who tie the knot with Pakistani citizens.
In a comprehensive 33-page judgment authored by Justice Waqar Ahmed, the court took a significant stride in facilitating the lives of Afghan refugees opting to establish their futures in Pakistan.
The court’s directive permits Afghan nationals wedded to Pakistanis to seek Pakistan Origin Cards (POCs), granting them specific privileges linked with Pakistani citizenship. This measure aims to streamline the regularization process for Afghan refugees and ensure their seamless integration into Pakistani society.
The decision underscores the need to simplify the marriage registration process for Afghan-Pakistani couples, abolishing the mandatory requirement of a passport and ID card for POC applications in marital cases. Additionally, the court mandates swift issuance of POC cards post-security clearance, preventing undue delays for eligible individuals.
In cases where NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) rejects an application, the court stipulates providing a detailed written explanation for the refusal. This transparency measure aims to protect applicants’ rights and guarantee fair treatment.
The court’s verdict has received warm reception among Afghan refugees and their Pakistani spouses, who have long grappled with complexities within Pakistani immigration laws. The relaxation of rules and simplified procedures is poised to ease the challenges faced by these couples, enabling them to concentrate on forging their lives together in Pakistan.