Pakistan defers 1.45m Afghan refugees’ repatriation by 1 year
ISLAMABAD: (Web Desk) The federal cabinet on Wednesday approved one-year extension of the validity of Proof of Registration (PoR) cards of 1.45 million registered Afghan refugees, granting a one-year extension to their stay in Pakistan.

The Proof of Registration is a critical identity document held by registered Afghan refugees.

“The federal cabinet approved one-year extension of the validity of PoR (Proof of Registration) cards of 1.45 million Afghan refugees. Their PoR cards have been expired on June 30, 2024. The extension has been granted until June 30, 2025” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday.

Also read: Cabinet abolishes Pakistan PWD, to be replaced by a new company

In October 2023, then caretaker government had announced the repatriation of all illegal foreigners particularly Afghan refugees citing security concerns. On November 1, repatriation of undocumented Afghans started and officials now say that up to 500,000 have gone back.

As per the UN refugee agency, Pakistan is still home to around 1.3 million registered Afghans.

Besides registered, more than 800,000 have Afghan citizenship cards, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Also read: PM Shehbaz unveils energy plan to revolutionise Balochistan’s agriculture

Meanwhile, the Federal Cabinet also approved the abolishment of Pakistan Public Works Department (PWD), and establishment of an Asset and Facility Management Company to continue maintenance and repair works.

At a meeting of federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad, the Cabinet directed the authorities concerned that the entire transition process should be completed within two weeks.

The cabinet approved that an Asset and Facility Management Company will be established to continue maintenance and repair works assigned previously to the Pak PWD while its staff will be transferred to respective ministries after grading and implementation of Golden Handshake Scheme.

It was decided that all property records of the Pak-PWD will be computerized.

As per the approved plan, the new proposed company will be established to supervise federal development projects while all provincial development projects under supervision of the Federal Government will be handed over to the relevant provincial institutions.