With the conclusion of Filippo Grandi’s visit to Pakistan, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced the suspension of forced deportations of Afghan citizens from Pakistan.

In a statement from the UNHCR, it was mentioned that during his three-day visit to Pakistan, Filippo Grandi requested Pakistani authorities to extend identification cards for Afghan refugees.

The statement also mentioned that they are seeking long-term solutions to improve the situation of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and the extension of identification cards, or PoR cards.

The statement said: “During his discussions, the High Commissioner called for the timely extension of the Proof of Registration (PoR) cards, a critical identity document held by over 1.3 million Afghan refugees. Grandi expressed appreciation that the “Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan” had been suspended and sought assurances that it would remain on hold. He called for Pakistan’s proud tradition of hospitality towards those Afghans with international protection needs to continue.”

“This move benefits Afghan refugees as it ensures their physical and mental security and provides them access to health services, education, and employment opportunities,” said Ali Reza Karimi, an activist for refugee rights.

At the same time, some Afghan refugees in Pakistan said that deportations of Afghan refugees are still ongoing in parts of Pakistan. They have called on the UNHCR to address their challenges in this country.

“Every day, Afghan refugees are harassed by the Pakistani police; most are deported and some are imprisoned,” said Zahir Behand, an Afghan journalist in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the consul of the Islamic Emirate in Karachi, Pakistan, said that the government of this country has given a six-month grace period to Afghan refugees holding PoR cards.

Abdul Jabbar Takhari, the consul of the Islamic Emirate in Karachi, Pakistan, said: “The Pakistani government has also promised to give a six-month period to Afghans who hold PoR cards, but no decision has yet been made regarding those holding ACC cards.”

Earlier, Pakistan’s government announced the extension of the stay for Afghan refugees holding PoR cards until June 30 of this year. According to reports from some Pakistani media, this decision was made by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a cabinet meeting.

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