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Pakistan wants all Afghan refugees home by year-end deadline

December 31, 2015 - PAKISTAN

Afghanistan’s neighbor has ordered all Afghan refugees, some of whom have been in Pakistan for decades, out by the end of 2015.

The million-plus refugees from the successive Afghan conflicts live mainly in camps in the northeast frontier region. Pakistan is reported to be unwilling to support the burden of the camps any longer. The twin issues of refugees and militants was raised during Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s fence-mending visit in Nov 2014, his first. Relations between the two countries have been fraught. Each accuses the other of allowing militants to shelter in the mountainous border regions and launch bloody attacks that threaten regional stability. A statement from his office said that the Afghan president sought stronger security ties, including cooperation in training and border management, and promised his country’s cooperation “to jointly curb the menace of terrorism.” Pakistan has been home to one of the world's largest refugee communities, cared for by the the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Pakistan's government and numerous international care agencies, for three decades.

Afghan refugees in Pakistan to be repatriated by end-2015 (Zee News 18 Nov 2014)

Afghan Refugees in Pakistan (Atlantic 3 Feb 2014)

Pakistan expelling Afghan refugees (Toronto Star 10 Sep 2015)