Afghan refugee cards valid, says minister

Report
from DAWN Group of Newspapers
Published on 24 Oct 2013 View Original

AMIN AHMED

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24: The Ministry of States and Frontier Regions and the UN refugee agency have expressed concern over increasing incidents of detention of Afghan refugees bearing Proof of Registration (PoR) cards and urged the law-enforcement authorities to provide protection to refugees from harassment, extortion and arrest. Speaking at a news conference here on Thursday along with the UNHCR representative and the chief commissioner for Afghan refugees, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said the PoR cards issued to Afghan refugees by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) remained valid until modalities were worked out for their renewal, despite having the expiry date of Dec 31, 2012.

Discussions were under way among the ministry, the UNHCR and Nadra to finalise the renewal modalities, he said.

Mr Baloch said that while the technical and financial issues were being finalised, the cards remained valid.

He urged all the law-enforcement authorities to comply with the government’s commitment to providing protection to the refugees.

The government had issued instructions on Aug 2 to the provincial governments and relevant departments that no adverse action should be taken against Afghan refugees with PoR cards having expired in December last year.

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