Registration of the afghan nationals living illegally in Pakistan will start on Wednesday (today) and will continue till December; this registration procedure would be conducted across the country. Director General Afghan Commissionerate Waqar Maroof stated that nearly one million afghan Nationals would get registered who were living illegally in Pakistan.

He stated that almost 600,000 Afghan Nationals may get registered from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Where as nearly 200,000 unregistered Afghan nationals have been reported to have moved back to their country in 2016 with the fear of deportation.

He also said that, “For the unregistered Afghans this is an opportunity for them to get registered.”

Ministry of State and Frontier Regions and Afghan Commissionerate in alliance with Afghanistan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation are taking the responsibility of the drive. The government will issue Afghan Citizen Card (ACC) to these unregistered Afghans to authorize their stay in Pakistan for undetermined time period.

NADRA has set up 21 centers across the country upon the orders of the Federal Government. The 20 point action plan released in 2015 also had an aim of the enrollment of the unregistered Afghans. According to some sources the reason behind the delay caused in this documentation process was due to the disputes between interior and Safron ministries.

11 registration centers have been set up across the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three major centers have been setup in Peshawar and the estimated cost for this project is said to be nearly RS175 million.

Officials stated that the members of the Afghan Ministry for Refugees and Repatriations would be present at those registration centers to monitor the process. They also said that once the given criteria are fulfilled the eligible families would be provided with ACCs.

NADRA and Afghan Commissionerate had started the pilot project last month to streamline the process. Under the pilot project, the authority had set up one centre in Islamabad and another in Peshawar. According to the officials an average of 110 Afghan families have approach the center set up in Peshawar on daily basis.

Police is mostly blamed for harassing and persecuting refugees as well as unregistered Afghans. They said that the card would protect registered Afghan citizens from harassment at the hands of law enforcement agencies including police

The repatriation of the refugees this year is going slow comparatively to last year as officials say that last year nearly 400,000 refugees were repatriated whereas this year only 45,000 refugees have repatriated since January 2017.

Registered Afghan immigrants will lose their legal status by the end of December after their proof of registration cards would expire.