UN Migration Agency Supports Pakistan’s Registration of Undocumented Afghans
Pakistan – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is backing a Pakistan government initiative to register up to a million unregistered Afghans believed to be living in Pakistan.
The documentation process, which was approved by Pakistan’s cabinet in February as part of the country’s Policy on the Repatriation and Management of Afghans, started on August 16th and has now registered some 70,000 Afghans.
The registration aims to meet a need among undocumented Afghans by providing them with identification credentials in form of Afghan Citizen Cards (ACC) that will allow them to legally live in Pakistan temporarily.
The process is being led by Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), in close coordination with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation.
NADRA has set up 21 centers across Pakistan to implement the programme. Most of the documentation to date has taken place at centers in the KP province. But centers in other cities including Lahore, Karachi and Quetta have also registered significant numbers.
IOM Pakistan Chief of Mission Davide Terzi said: “The registration process is a timely and positive government intervention, which is welcomed by IOM and other international partners. We see this exercise as an important step towards addressing complex challenges faced by the Afghan community residing in Pakistan due to lack of identity documents and we hope that it will help the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to enhance bilateral cooperation on migration management.”
IOM is supporting the documentation process. In coordination with Pakistan’s Chief Commissionerate of Afghan Refugees (CCAR), it has launched an information campaign through print media and radio, to enhance awareness of the process among undocumented Afghans.
The organization has also deployed staff to various documentation centers across Pakistan to monitor the process and inform authorities about the challenges. IOM is also providing technical support to both governments to manage the process in a humane and orderly manner.
For further information please contact Junaid Arshad Khan at IOM Pakistan. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mohmand and his family are among thousands of undocumented Afghans families living in Pakistan. Families like these will now be able to regularize their stay in Pakistan for a limited time through the documentation exercise initiated by the government in last month. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017