Pakistan

NEW YORK – The United Nations, on Friday, appreciated Pakistan’s decision to extend the repatriation deadline for Afghan refugees residing in the country by six-months.

During a regular briefing at the UN Headquarters, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the world body lauded Pakistan’s decision.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had extended the stay of registered Afghan refugees in the country till December 31, 2016. Previously, they had only been granted

Pakistan has the world’s second largest refugee population, with more than 1.5 million registered and about a million unregistered refugees from Afghanistan.

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The number of Afghans voluntarily returning home has plunged this year as the conflict has intensified in Afghanistan.

Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistani Ambassador to UN, has also urged the international community to prioritize the issue of Afghan refugees and help Pakistan and Afghanistan in their repatriation and resettlement.