ISLAMABAD - The Senate was informed on Friday that Afghan refugees who have valid proof of registration cards can stay in Pakistan till 31st December 2015.

During the question-hour session of the Upper House of the Parliament, Minister for State and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch informed the house that the government was serious to resolve the issue of Afghan refugees and is making efforts to speed up repatriation of Afghan refugees in collaboration with Afghanistan and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The minister told the house that Afghan refugees having valid proof of registration cards could stay in Pakistan till 31st December this year. To another question he further informed the Senate that registration process of 1.5 unregistered Afghan refugees would begin from 15th of July this year.

He said that Afghan government has opened a cell in Islamabad for issuance of passports to the refugees. He pointed out that incentives for repatriating Afghan refugees have been increased from $150 to $200 dollars for each refugee. He said that Afghan government would provide basic facilities to them on their return and UNHCR would also give them financial assistance.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid informed the house that PTV has established its boosters in district Kohlu and Zhob whereas district Pishin is being covered by PTV booster located at Ghazaband. He said that PTV Home transmission is being aired in district Pishin and Zhob while district Kohlu is being covered by PTV News transmission. The minister said that the government desires PTV telecasts to be aired throughout the country.

To a question, Minister of State for Interior Muhammad Balighur Rehman told the House that passports are being issued timely and there is no backlog. He said that for this purpose lamination papers are being procured in anticipation of the demand of passports.