Tayyeb Muhammadzai

PESHAWAR: The UN refugee agency says Afghan citizens are trying to take refuge in different countries and Pakistan must also allow Afghan refugees to enter through Pak-Afghan border.

The UNHCR spokesman Qaiser Khan Afridi says the situation in Afghanistan is not normal due to which about 600,000 people were rendered homeless this year. He said the UNHCR appeals to all the neighbouring countries to open their borders for Afghan refugees so that they could reach safe destination.

Talking to TNN, Qaiser Afridi said it will be premature to say how many Afghan refugees are expected to arrive in Pakistan.

Corona vaccination is continuing for Pakistani citizens in full swing, but there are no proper arrangements for about two million Afghan refugees to get vaccinated. Qaiser Afridi said there are about 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan and majority of them live in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Besides that there are about 800,000 Afghan nationals who don’t possess proof of registration (PoR) card, but they possess documents for living in Pakistan. A large number of unregistered Afghan are also living in Pakistan.

The UNHCR spokesman said thousands of Afghan refugees with PoR cards have got themselves vaccinated in Pakistan. He said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has also decided to provide vaccination to all unregistered Afghan.

Qaiser Afridi said there are 54 Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, and the UNHCR has provided basic facilities at these camps for prevention against coronavirus. He said the UNHCR is keeping an eye on the issues of Afghan refugees particularly after deteriorating condition in Afghanistan. He said the UNHCR is carrying out awareness campaigns for Afghan refugees about coronavirus from the very beginning.

It has been decided to provide free of cost vaccination to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, but several problems exist in this regard. Pakistani officials said registered Afghan refugees can send a message and upon getting reply can get vaccination from any centre. Afghan refugees say they are facing difficulties as they are not registered with Nadra.



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