KOHAT: The Afghan refugees living in Kohat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have complained that they are facing difficulties in obtaining proof of registration (PoR) cards.
Malik Shah Mehmood Khan, an Afghan refugee, told TNN that the refugees appreciate the program initiated by the government of Pakistan for registration, but it has some lacunae which need to be fixed. He said the phone numbers given for getting appointment in the registration office often remains busy and it is very difficult to talk to centre representatives. He said only the person talking on phone gets number for his appearance in the centre and other members of the family had to call the centre one by one to get number. He said this problem can be resolved by giving appointment to the whole family with the call of head of the family to the registration centre.
Malik Shah Mehmood said the registration centre officials also ask difficult questions about different areas of Afghanistan. He said the young generation of Afghan refugees who have born and grown up in Pakistan are not aware of the minute details about different areas of Afghanistan and they are unable to answer such questions. He said this problem can also be resolved by asking all such questions from head of the family.
And last but not the least, he said, is the problem of taking pictures of Afghan women in the registration centre by male photographers. Again, he said there is an easy solution to this problem in shape of appointing female photographers at the registration centre so that the Afghan women can easily make their PoR cards without any hesitation or cultural impediments.
Another elder, Shamsuddin told TNN that when he called the registration centre he received replied that the data of Kohat has been completed. He said he was astonished as a lot of refugee families in Kohat have been left out.
Malik Awal Khan, another visitor to the centre, said no procedure has been made to facilitate disabled persons at the registration centres. He said most of Afghan refugees are illiterate and they don’t know the procedure of dialing required phone numbers or making online entry.
The Afghan refugees have called upon the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to take notice of the matter and make the process easier for them.