The Pakistani government has decided to restrict the free movement of Afghan nationals and refugees within the country, as part of a new policy, announced in the week.
Under the new policy, the movement of Afghan citizens will be subject to registration with the respective police station, and they will have to return to their home country on the expiry of visas or residence permeants.
It will be mandatory for Afghan nationals to inform the relevant police station about their movement to another province or between cities, as reported by ASMAA TV. The purpose of the visit and the address they will be visiting will also have to be shared with the police station, sources added.
The government of Pakistan has not clearly stated the reasons for the latest decision restricting the free movement of Afghan nationals within the country.
Previously, the interior ministry of Pakistan had given a deadline of December 30, 2022, to get themselves registered or leave the country, otherwise, they would face imprisonment or forceful deportation.
Following the failure of some 400,000 Afghan refugees to register themselves, the new policy was advised to restrict the free movement of Afghan citizens from one city to another in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, UNHCR Pakistan has recently issued an announcement for the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan to their country. As per the UNHCR policy, each member of the family will receive $350 upon voluntary repatriation.
Since the return of the Taliban to power in August 2021, thousands of Afghan refugees migrated to Pakistan, most of whom entered the country without visas. Even those who entered the country with visas, now face serious problems as their visas expired, and they are unable to extend their stay permits.