NA body concerned over illegal inflow of Afghan nationals into Pakistan

ISLAMABAD    -  The National Assembly Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) on Thursday shown great concern over the illegal inflow of Afghan nationals in Pakistan at large numbers without their registration by the quarters concerned after regime change in Afghanistan. 

The committee further expressed its deep con­cern over free movement of unregistered Afghan na­tionals without any restrictions and occupying ma­jor businesses in the big cities, especially in Karachi and Peshawar, without paying taxes to the govern­ment of Pakistan. The committee recommended that the Secretary Ministry of Interior, secretaries home departments of all the provinces would be invited in the next meeting to discuss the issue of unregistered Afghan nationals living mostly in urban areas of Pa­kistan and chalk out a mechanism to stop them in the border areas.

Ibadullah Khan, MNA chaired the meeting at the Parliament House, Islamabad. Additional Secretary Ministry of SAFRON informed, while briefing the committee, that Pakistan has been generously host­ing millions of Afghans for the last four decades. He said that currently, there are three categories of Af­ghans living in Pakistan that include 1.4 million Reg­istered Proof of Registration (POR) card holders, 840,000 Afghan Citizen Card holders (ACC) and esti­mated by various agencies 0.7 million undocumented Afghans. Commissioner Afghan Refugees Headquar­ter also shared the issues/challenges in repatriation of the Afghan refugees, including the insufficient live­lihood opportunities and due to the non-conducive environment in Afghanistan. He said that process of repatriation of Afghan refugees remained slow, after withdrawal of US/NATO forces from Afghanistan.

The committee deferred the agenda item regarding al­leged possession of FATA House, Islamabad, by the fed­eral government. The said house was constructed from FATA Annual Development Fund for official use by the parliamentarians/officers of FATA with the direction that the Secretary, Ministry of Interior must attend the next meeting to brief the committee on the said issue.

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