PESHAWAR: There are a total 1,400,000 registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan and 200,000 refugees have opened bank accounts in the country.

This was revealed by Chief Commissioner Afghan Refugees Salim Khan while giving a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (Safron) at the Parliament House on Saturday.

The chief commissioner of Afghan refugees told the Senate body that the government of Pakistan has provided immigrant cards to 824,000 Afghan refugees. He explained that 20 to 22 percent cards could not be distributed among Afghan refugees as some of them go back to Afghanistan before distribution of cards.

Salim Khan said help of other government departments is required for preparation and distribution of immigrant cards in Balochistan. He said it is very difficult to distribute such cards in Balochistan due to various issues.

The Afghan refugees chief commissioner said that policy regarding issuing driving licences of Afghan refugees is not clear yet, but efforts are being made to provide maximum facilities to Afghan refugees while remaining in the parameters of law.

Salim Khan said the Afghan refugees studying in Pakistan have their own educational content. He said the government has decided to monitor the content of the course studied by Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He said government has reservations upon the content against the state. He said there is obscurity in the course content of Afghan refugees on the issues of Indian Occupied Kashmir and Durand Line. The commissioner further revealed that negative content was present in Afghan education course about diplomacy with other countries and it was controlled through appropriate monitoring mechanism.

The standing committee directed the concerned authorities to resolve the matter of issuance of driving licences to Afghan refugees as soon as possible.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa additional secretary Health Department informed the Senate body about regularisation of employees previously working on contract basis in Health Department of erstwhile Fata. He said there were 30 projects in tribal districts and around 1,900 people were working on contract basis in these projects. He said these employees will be regularised soon after approval of the summary by the provincial government.