PESHAWAR, 16 January: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has allowed registered Afghan refugees to stay in Pakistan for six more months.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) officials said the registered Afghan refugees will now be entitled to stay in Pakistan till 30 June, 2016. The officials said the extension has been granted on temporary basis. It said the federal cabinet of Pakistan is working on formation of new policy regarding stay of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

On the other hand, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has expressed reservations over extension granted to the Afghan refugees by the federal government. The deadline of Afghan refugees’ stay in Pakistan expired on 31 December, 2015. The Afghan government, during the tripartite commission meeting in Kabul in August last year had demanded extension in stay of Afghan refugees in Pakistan by December, 2018.

Meanwhile, 160 unregistered Afghan refugees, who were arrested from different areas of KP and FATA, have been handed over to the authorities in Afghanistan at the Torkham border.