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Pakistan Gears Up for Second Phase of Afghan Repatriation Amid Data Collection Deadline

© AP Photo / Ebrahim NorooziAfghan refugees
Afghan refugees  - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.03.2024
Pakistani authorities are preparing to launch the second phase of repatriation for nearly one million documented Afghans amidst confusion surrounding the exact number of undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan, with a deadline set for 25 March to complete data collection.
Amidst confusion regarding the precise number of undocumented Afghans repatriated from Pakistan to their homeland over recent months, Pakistani authorities are gearing up to initiate the second phase of repatriation for nearly one million documented Afghans, as reported by the media.

The Pakistan Interior Ministry has reportedly issued directives to district authorities and police, instructing them to accelerate the mapping and collection of data regarding the whereabouts of Afghan Citizen Card (ACC) holders.

25 March has been set as the deadline to complete the exercise, Pakistani media reports.
The initial round of repatriation for Afghans, referred to as "undocumented aliens" by Pakistan, occurred in November last year.

The media report stated that no date has been announced for the repatriation of documented Afghans. However, the campaign to send hundreds of thousands of ACC holders back could commence in early to mid-summer.

"We have already started the mapping process, It will pick up the pace after Ramazan and we hope to complete the survey before April 30," Abid Majeed, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's additional chief secretary, told the Pakistani media.

According to estimates, there are 2.18 million documented Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan. This includes 1.3 million refugees holding Proof of Registration (PoR) cards, as per the census conducted in 2006-07, and an additional 880,000 refugees granted Afghan Citizen Cards (ACCs) following a registration drive in 2017.
An afghan man walks at the Afghanistan-Iran border crossing of Islam Qala, on Wednesday , Nov. 24, 2021. Afghans are streaming across the border into Iran, driven by desperation after the near collapse of their country's economy following the Taliban's takeover in mid-August. In the past three months, more than 300,000 people have crossed illegally into Iran, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council, and more are coming at the rate of 4,000 to 5,000 a day. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.03.2024
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