PESHAWAR, 15 November: Leaders of different political parties have recommended to the federal government to extend the deadline for the respectful repatriation of registered Afghan refugees till December 31, 2017.

The recommendation came during the “All Parliamentary Leadership Conference on Repatriation and Management Policy for Afghan Refugees” held in federal capital on Monday. The Conference was organized by the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON).

The speakers including Federal Minister SAFRON Abdul Qadir Baloch, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj ul Haq, National Party (NP) president Mir Hasil Khan Bazinjo, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farhat Ullah Babar, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and other officials of the Safron called for the voluntary safe and respectful repatriation of Afghan refugees.

The leaders also agreed that proper mechanism should be adopted for the registration of undocumented Afghan refugees.

Talking to media persons after attending the conference, Chief Minister KP, Pervez Khattak said that unregistered Afghan refugees was the one of the most serious problem for the provincial government. He said due to these undocumented Afghan nationals, the province had been facing numerous economic and security related issues.

Pervez Khattak added that on suspicions of Afghan refugees, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had blocked the computerized identity cards of thousands of Pakistan nationals.

Putting his weight behind the extension in the stay of registered Afghan refugees till December 2017, the chief minister said the repatriation process started earlier this year should not be stopped.

Secretary Safron Arbab Shahzad said it was recommended during the conference that Afghan refugees living in Pakistan should be categorized. “It was suggested to the conference that incentives should be extended to those Afghan nationals who have invested their capital in Pakistan or married Pakistani nationals,” he explained.

He further informed that it was also recommended that the visa process for students and patients should be made easy.

It merits a mention here that the deadline for the respectful repatriation of registered Afghan refugees to their homeland expires in March 2017. The formal approval to the recommendations of the conference about any extension in the stay of Afghan refugees will be given by the federal cabinet.