PM Khan allows registered Afghan refugees to open bank accounts in Pakistan

Updated 25 Feb 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan during a live TV address. — APP/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan during a live TV address. — APP/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced that he had issued instructions for registered Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan to be allowed to open bank accounts.

"From now onwards they can participate in the formal economy of the country," the premier said, referring to registered Afghan refugees.

"This should have been done a long time ago," Khan concluded.

Pakistan is one of the largest refugee-hosting nations in the world, home to an estimated 2.4 million registered and undocumented people who have fled Afghanistan, some as far back as the Soviet invasion of 1979.

Less than a month after taking office, Prime Minister Khan had in September last year ignited a national debate with a vow to grant citizenship to Afghan refugees born in Pakistan — potentially creating more than a million new citizens.

As opposition parties protested against the proposal, Khan had later justified his remarks but said the government would consult all political parties before taking a final decision on the matter.