Afghan refugees running out of time

More than 18,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan have returned home since the UN High Commissioner foor Refugees (UNHCR) started this year’s voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan, officials announced March 23. “They have been given a grace period from March 1 to April 15 to repatriate voluntarily with assistance,” UNHCR said, adding that Afghans who did not register during the 15-week period and thus do not have Proof of Registration (PoR) cards, will be considered illegal migrants and will be subject to prosecution. UNHCR says there are still some 2.15 million Afghan citizens in Pakistan. (UNHCR press release, March 23)

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