PESHAWAR: The Government of Pakistan and United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) will start the proof of registration (PoR) card renewal and verification exercise for Afghan refugees from today (Thursday).

The process was the Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise (DRIVE) for Afghanistan refugees was to start originally from April 01, but it was postponed temporarily by the government owing to the third wave of coronavirus.

Under the new process, the Afghan refugees will get new PoR cards after verification.

Registered Afghan refugees holding PoR cards with an expiry date of 31 December, 2015 will be informed of the commencement of the exercise. Afghan refugees may call the following helpline 0800-11122 for more details. They can also visit UNHCR’s website (www.unhcrpk.org/drive) for updates.

Pakistan hosts more than 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees that are PoR cardholders.

With the cooperation of Pakistan government, the UNHCR had commenced a campaign for the renewal of POR cards of Afghan refugees based in Pakistan and to make identifiable through biometric verification. For this practice, the UNHCR had set up 40 centres all over the country with the cooperation of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), Afghan Commissionerate and Safron (States and Frontier Regions) Ministry, among which 21 centres are set up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

These cards are granted to those Afghan immigrants only who have the PoR cards which got expired on December 21, 2015. Their personal interviews, photographs and fingerprints are necessary for the new card.

Biometric cards are to be issued to almost 1.4 million Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan, which will provide the government of Pakistan and UNHCR reliable data on the identities of these refugees, promising them health, education and cash assistance in case of voluntary return to Afghanistan. According to the documents of UNHCR, around $96.6 million are required for the completion of this project.

According to the UNHCR, all Afghan refugees will have to come to the registration centres for verification and their children below the age of five years will also be registered in the new exercise.

The registration process will have three stages. The visitors will have to take advance appointment from registration centre, second stage will include personal visit for interview, pictures and biometric verification, and third stage include interviews and other necessary formalities for final issuance of the card. The Afghan refugees can determine the status of their PoR card by sending an SMS to 8400.

 

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