Afghan refugees’ status extended until end of year

Source: Aljazeera

A crackdown by Pakistani authorities has seen a rise in both deportations and voluntary repatriations of Afghan nationals [File: Josh Smith/Reuters]

Islamabad, Pakistan  Pakistan’s government has extended a deadline for Afghan refugees to leave the country until the end of 2017, according to state media.

A meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday pushed back the refugees’ legal right to stay from the previous deadline of March 31, state-run APP news agency reported.

There are currently about 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees resident in Pakistan, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Many fled violence in their country more than 30 years ago, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with others fleeing the US-led invasion in 2001.

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