ISLAMABAD -  All is set to start registration of undocumented Afghan citizens across the country from July 15.

According to details, the government has given this task to Ministry of State and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

Under the plan, one million undocumented Afghans will be registered in the next eight months.

The Nadra will issue the ‘Afghan Citizen Cards’ to registered refugees for an unspecified duration.

Currently, a large number of foreign nationals live in Pakistan without legal documents.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, NDARA as well as Afghan Refugees Commissionerate would jointly undertake the responsibility for the identification of appropriate sites, where the registration centres for undocumented Afghan citizens would be established.

The sources in the SFARON told The Nation that as many as 22 registration centres would be set up throughout the country and 11 of them would be in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

They said that after selection of sites, NADRA would depute staff members to begin the documentation process from July 15.

The Afghan government, according to the sources, is also on board, while the representatives of the relevant ministry would oversee the process.

The KP Afghan commissionerate would set up centres in Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Lower Dir, Malakand, Haripur, Mansehra and Dera Ismail Khan.

The sources said that around 600,000 undocumented Afghan nationals would be registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone. They said the Nadra, Afghan commissionerate and the Afghan refugees and repatriations ministry would jointly carry out the exercise.

The SAFRON and Nadra had signed an agreement to start the much-delayed registration of undocumented Afghan nationals in the country. The estimated cost of the project is Rs175 million.

The registration of undocumented Afghan nationals is part of the 20-point National Action Plan, which was unveiled in the wake of the December 16, 2014, terrorist attack on the Army Public School Peshawar.

The law-enforcement agencies had launched a crackdown on undocumented Afghan nationals.

The countrywide action had forced thousands of Afghans to return. Apart from the undocumented Afghan nationals, Pakistan currently hosts over one million refugees. The legal status of refugees will expire at the end of December this year. Over 600,000 Afghan nationals returned in 2016 without getting cash assistance and other relief goods from the UN refugee agency.

The officials said that the holders of the Afghan Citizen Cards would not be eligible for cash grant being paid to registered refugees on return under the Voluntary Repatriation Programme. Every registered refugee is paid $200 cash assistance by the UNHCR.

CAR Director General Waqar Maroof said that the government would maintain accurate databank of undocumented Afghans through the proposed registration process.

He said that the proposed card would legalise the stay of unregistered Afghan nationals in the country.