PESHAWAR, April 8: A large number of Afghan refugees have managed to travel abroad and found jobs there on fake Pakistani passports and national identity cards, a senior immigration official said.

Director-General of the Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment (BIOE) Mohammad Ibrahim Khan told journalists here on Tuesday that they had detected several cases and received complaints from Pakistani embassies about Afghan refugees trying to find employment using Pakistani passports.

“A lot of Afghan refugees, may be, with the collaboration of registered promoters and immigration officials, have found employment abroad and are causing losses in remittances,” he added.

Last year, the BIOE had cancelled the licenses of 14 overseas employment promoters in Peshawar for allegedly sending Afghans abroad for employment purposes, he said.

Around seven or eight people visit the immigration bureau office daily with complaints against promoters, he said.

“It is the immigration officials’ responsibility to to detect such cases as machines have been installed at all international airports for the purpose,” he informed.

He said that on Tuesday, the immigration bureau held a meeting with registered promoters and warned them of stern action if found involved in sending Afghans abroad on Pakistani passports.

Mr Ibrahim advised the general public to only contact registered promoters because they are accountable to the Protectorate of Immigration,” he added.

He also urged job-seekers to confirm the vacancies they are applying for with the immigration bureau office.

The director-general suggested that those taking up overseas employment be registered with the Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment.

He said that the government had been providing two years’ insurance of up to Rs300,000 to the overseas employees with a meagre premium of Rs650 annually. The employee’s family is also covered, he said.

Last year, 147,000 Pakistanis went abroad for jobs, most of them from the NWFP which has almost 200 registered promoters.

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