Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to follow timeline for refugees return

Published November 8, 2018
Agreement was reached during the second meeting of the Refugee Working Group. — FO/File
Agreement was reached during the second meeting of the Refugee Working Group. — FO/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday agreed to follow the “decided timeline” for the repatriation of Afghan refugees.

The agreement was reached during the second meeting of the Refugee Working Group (WG) under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS).

Safron Secretary Muhammad Aslam led the Pakistani side at the meeting whereas the Afghan delegation was headed by Deputy Minister for Afghan Ministry of Refugee Affairs Dr Alema.

Agreement reached during meeting of working group

The two sides discussed ways to enhance mutual cooperation for “a dignified, gradual, time-bound and complete return of Afghan nationals to their country”.

“It was decided to observe the agreed timelines and procedures for repatriation of various categories of these people to Afghanistan,” a Foreign Office statement said.

Although there is no publicly known timeline for repatriation, it is generally believed that Pakistan government wants the Afghan refugees having Afghan citizen cards to be repatriated by December 2018, whereas the registered refugees, who are believed to be 1.4 million, are expected to return to their country by June 2019. There is a third category of undocumented Afghan citizens living in Pakistan for which efforts are being made to register and repatriate them.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had in February pledged to ensure return of all Afghan refugees living in Pakistan to Afghanistan in “the next 24 months”.

The statement further said that a standard operating procedure (SOP) for streamlining the future working of the group among the two ministries concerned on a regular basis was also agreed.

The APAPPS working group (WG), it noted, “works on the principle of direct, regular contact among relevant ministries in both countries, under the umbrella of the politico-diplomatic WG, co-chaired by the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs”.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...