QUETTA, (NNI): The Government of Pakistan has announced that Jungle Pir Alizai and Girdi Jungle camps in Balochistan will be closed in 2007. Jungle Pir Alizai will be closed by June 15 and Girdi Jungle will be closed by August 31. There is no option to stay in the camps. Affected Afghans have two options to voluntarily repatriate to Afghanistan with UNHCR assistance or to relocate to Ghazgai Minara camp in Loralai district of Balochistan. The UNHCR will only assist registered Afghans with Proof of Registration (PoR) cards. Unregistered Afghans with no PoR cards will be subject to the law of the land. Afghans who wish to repatriate should approach the UNHCR scheduling centres in Ghousabad or Sabzal Road, or approach the Baleli voluntary repatriation centre (VRC) on the Quetta-Chaman Road. They must bring the PoR cards of the repatriating family members and two copies of family photo in colour. At the VRC, repatriating family members will be de-registered at NADRA's point and their PoR cards will be invalidated. All those above five years of age must pass the IRIS test in order to receive UNHCR assistance in Afghanistan. The return package offers an average of US$100 per person, depending on the distance to the area of origin. Baleli VRC is open daily from 07:30 am to 3:30 pm except Thursdays and Fridays. Afghans, who are not repatriating for the moment and opt for relocation, will be relocated to Ghazgai Minara camp in Loralai district. Those wishing to relocate must give their names to the district administrators and staff of the Commissioner for Afghan Refugees (CAR) in their camps as soon as possible. A copy of this list should be sent to UNHCR. UNHCR will provide transport of persons and their possessions. A medical escort for PoR holders will be provided enroute to Ghazgai Minara camp. There will be a team to receive them at the camp and to give them the relocation package, which includes a hot meal and water, basic health screening, tents, picks and shovels. Plastic sheets will be distributed as needed. Latrines will also be set up in the reception area. The camp is 345 km away from Jungle Pir Alizai camp and 675 km from Girdi Jungle camp. Ghazgai Minara camp is currently home to 392 registered families with some 2,500 Afghans. Most work as daily wage labourers in farms and coalmines while the rest run small businesses. Facilities in the camp will be made available, including water, health care and education.
- Frontier Post
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