1.5m Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan


PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): A year after the US withdrawal from their homeland, around 1.5 million Afghan refugees still prefer to stay in Pakistan.

Released on Monday, a UN report said Pakistan remained the largest refugee-hosting country in Asia and the Pacific.

Last year, the number of refugees in the Asia-Pacific region rose by 138,400 to 4.2 million, or 19 per cent of the global refugee population, indicating a three per cent hike over 2020.

The Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise (DRIVE) found by Dec 2021, there were 1,252,800 registered Afghans, with proof of registration (PoR) cards, in Pakistan.

A further 129,700 unregistered members of registered families (UMRFs) were awaiting verification at the time of reporting, Dawn said, citing the report.

Since Aug 2021, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, about 250,000 Afghans had entered Pakistan — based on official estimates.

The UN agency said Bangladesh was the second-largest host country with 918,900 refugees, followed by Iran, with 798,300 refugees.