A total of 2,656 undocumented Afghan nationals have been deported while 212,934 have voluntarily returned via Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since September 17, officials told The News on Wednesday.

As per the official statistics collected by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government authorities, a total of 215,590 Afghans have returned home in the last two months. They also included those who returned during the period as per routine despite having visas or Proof of Registration cards.The return of Afghan families started in large number after the government set October 31 as deadline for the voluntary return of those foreigners who do not possess any kind of document to justify their stay in the country.“Despite the end of deadline, no one has been put behind bars in KP,” an official said. He added those returning via Torkham and other border crossings were leaving voluntarily.Police, district administration and other officials in Peshawar and other districts are checking the documents of vendors and shopkeepers in some areas to find if they possess PoR card or any other document.A total of 211,969 Afghans have returned home via Torkham, 3,202 via Angoor Adda and 419 via Kharlachi border crossing since September 17, an official said.The official added that 565 undocumented Afghans from Punjab, 81 from Islamabad and 24 from AJK were also deported via Torkham border so far. A total of 1,837 have been repatriated from the transit points in Peshawar and Landikotal.There were concerns on social media as well as from international bodies and human rights organizations over the well-being of those returning home ahead of the harsh winter in Afghanistan.Majority of those returning home, especially women and children, lack adequate facilities after their repatriation.Many of the returning Afghan families don’t have their houses as they had left the country decades back while tens of thousands were born in Pakistan.According to the officials, no action is being taken against Afghans who possess Proof of Registration cards issued by the UNHCR, Afghan Citizens Cards and valid visas. Besides, no action is being taken against those whose cases are under process with UNHCR and they are planning to leave for a third country due to serious threat to life in Afghanistan. There are over one million Afghans in KP with PoR cards and Afghan Citizen Cards. According to the data, there are 776,395 PoR card and just over 300,000 ACC card holders living in KP.


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2023-11-16

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