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Pakistan recommends extension of stay for Afghan refugees

(Muslim Times) Pakistan’s   ministry of States and Frontier Regions has recommended that Afghan refugees be given a five-month extension of their stay. 

Aqdas Shaukat, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, said on Wednesday it had decided that permission to stay should be extended for another five months.

“The main reason for the extension is that it isn’t possible humanly to ask over one million people to leave at once,” the spokesman said.

“Our understanding is that another five months will give the refugees a good time to leave gradually.”

The cabinet would decide on the recommendation next week, he said.

The tense relations between Islamabad and Kabul led to concerns that Pakistan might retaliate by pushing back Afghan refugees, particularly since official permission to stay was only extended for 30 days at the beginning of this month.

The latest remarks, however, dispel fears that a large-scale repatriation back to violence-plagued Afghanistan was imminent.

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