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Afghanistan Times

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‘Govt ready to welcome migrants expelled from Pakistan’

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AT-KABUL: The government says it is getting prepared to welcome the migrants that are deported from Pakistan if diplomatic efforts didn’t work.

Pakistan government said last week that it would expel more than one million Afghan migrants within a month. Ministry of refugees and repatriates is making efforts to convince Islamabad to extend the deadline to the end of 2018.

“We are working with the help of some international organizations to provide essentials for the migrants,” Hafiz Meyakhel, an official of the ministry said. “We ask Pakistan not to politicize the migrants’ issue.” He added that the compulsory deportation of the migrants could create problems for them and for the government.

Pakistan agreed during the Istanbul meeting last year to prolong the term of Afghan migrants to the end of 2018. More than two million Afghan refugees are living in Pakistan, while only 1.4 million are registered and have refugees cards.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) blamed Pakistan for “directly and indirectly” pressuring Afghan refugees, calling this against international conventions.

Officials say that Pakistan started pressuring Afghan refugees after Kabul supported the US president’s warnings against Pakistan.