Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday vowed that the country would formulate a national policy on the contentious issue of Afghan refugees.


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He said that successive governments had borne the burden of hundreds of thousands of refugees coming into Pakistan. However, he felt it was now time to form a comprehensive national policy on the issue.

Talking informally to the media, Nisar said a meeting would be held after the return of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which would settle the matter.

He said Pakistan had demonstrated a goodwill and permitted Afghan refugees in rural areas but lamented the lack of rules and regulations governing their stay inside the country.

He stated the first rule was that the international community would assist and support Pakistan and the other was that no refugee would be permitted to purchase property in Pakistan.

Nisar also spoke about his pet project, the re-verification of identity cards throughout the country. He said under the re-verification drive of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs), any foreigner/refugee who voluntarily returned CNICs obtained illegally within two months would be given refugee status. However, he warned if any fake card holders were found after the two-month deadline, they would be sent directly to prison.