Pakistan Extends Legal Stay for 1.4 Million Afghan Refugees


In a humanitarian gesture, the Pakistani government has decided to extend the legal stay of approximately 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees until December 31, 2023. This decision comes as a relief to the refugee community, which has been facing growing uncertainty and concerns about their future in Pakistan.

The extension of the Proof of Registration (PoR) cards, which are essential for Afghan refugees to reside and work legally in Pakistan, provides a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation. This extension is particularly significant for Afghan refugees who fled the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021.

"The government of Pakistan is pleased to extend the validity of the PoR cards issued to the registered Afghan refugees ... till [31st] December 2023," stated an official announcement.

The decision to extend the legal stay of Afghan refugees is likely driven by a combination of factors, including the ongoing instability in Afghanistan and the need to address the humanitarian needs of the refugee population. Pakistan has hosted Afghan refugees for over four decades, making it one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in the world.

While the extension provides temporary relief, the long-term status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan remains uncertain. The international community has called on Pakistan to halt deportations and provide durable solutions for Afghan refugees, including resettlement opportunities in third countries.

The Pakistani government's decision to extend the legal stay of Afghan refugees is a positive step towards addressing the immediate concerns of this vulnerable population. However, it remains crucial for the international community to engage actively in finding sustainable solutions for Afghan refugees, ensuring their safety, dignity, and long-term well-being.

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