The federal government has kick-started a nationwide campaign to verify the data of about 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in the country.
According to the details, the data of Afghan refugees will be updated and smart verification cards will be issued after verification.
In this regard, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is assisting Pakistan’s Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees, which was launched 10 years later.
The move comes after US President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan before 9/11, which could end decades of war and lead to the early repatriation of refugees.
According to Commissionerate spokesman Muhammad Usman, 600 government and UNHCR officials have been deployed in 35 areas across the country for the registration process and mobile vans are also taking part in the process.
“This facility is not for unregistered migrants,” he told the international news agency.
A spokesman for the commissioner added that the nationwide campaign would continue for six months.
He said a policy would be introduced soon to encourage unregistered migrants to register and take advantage of the facility.
It should be noted that there are about 3 million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees in Pakistan, which is the second-largest refugee population in the world after the Syrian refugees in Turkey.
In March this year, the government announced that new smart cards would be issued to Afghan refugees whose Proof of Registration (POR) cards expired in 2015 after verification this year.
In a 6-month process, NADRA will verify and update the data of unregistered Afghan refugees who have POR cards with a deadline of 31 December 2015.
This work is being done in the framework of the ‘Support Platform for Afghan Refugee Resolution Strategy’, which will promote new partnerships and establish strong strategic links between humanitarian and development investment.
The new smart card will provide Afghan refugees with renewed proof of their identity, promote their protection in Pakistan and help facilitate identity verification by making access to services safer, faster and more effective.