Pakistan urged to extend Afghan refugee status
New York, Jan 17: The Pakistan government should reduce rights violations against Afghan refugees by extending their legal residency status until at least end of 2017, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. On January 12, the government extended registered Afghan refugees’ Proof of Residency (PoR) cards until June 30, 2016.
As Human Rights Watch has documented, the uncertain residency status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan has encouraged police harassment, threats, and extortion of Afghan refugees, particularly since the December 2014 attack on a Peshawar school by the Pakistani Taliban, the rights body said. “Pakistan’s six-month residency extension reduces Afghan refugees’ insecurity but the government also needs to stop police abuse of refugees,” said Human Rights Watch.
“A two-year extension both sends the message that refugees shouldn’t be pressured to go home and would give officials time to work out resettlement to third countries and other longer-term solutions.” Pakistan is host to one of the largest displaced populations in the world. (IANS)