The voluntary repatriation of ‘registered Afghan’ refugees resumed on Monday after four months of suspension, through two refugee centres established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan respectively.
Under the voluntary repatriation programme, it is expected that around 16,000 registered Afghan refugees would go back to Afghanistan, in the months of April and May. The first phase of voluntarily sending the refugees back to Afghanistan had been halted in last November, due to harsh cold weather.
According to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) each returnee would be granted $200 under personal assistance package for their safe return to Afghanistan.
The UNHCR confirmed 16,000 Afghan refugees have been registered in Khyber Pakthunkhwa alone, opting to return to Afghanistan.
The returnees would leave for Afghanistan from two repatriation centers that have been established in Peshawar and Quetta.
Meanwhile, the registration process of refugees who want to go back to Afghanistan will also continue, they informed.
According to the UNHCR’s statistics, 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees were residing in Pakistan, out of which 365,000 have returned to their homeland by end of 2016 before suspension in the repatriation process.
The statistics further revealed that there are around one million undocumented Afghans staying in Pakistan out of which 200,000 have returned to their homes.
Pakistan has extended the stay of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan till December 31, 2017.