The process of voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees to their country will resume from next month, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) said Tuesday.
The spokesman told Radio Pakistan that the process was temporarily suspended in November last year due to winter season.
A repatriation centre has been set up at Chamkani near Peshawar to register refugees willing to go back to Afghanistan.
The UNHCR is providing $400 to each returning refugee besides food and other basic items.
The spokesman said 380,000 registered Afghan refugees were repatriated to Afghanistan in 2016.
Last month, the cabinet had approved a policy pertaining to the repatriation of Afghan refugees and barred entry into the country for those refugees who do not have valid visas.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had presided over that meeting during which the refugee repatriation and management policy was approved.
The policy calls for strict implementation of Pakistan’s immigration laws along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and ensuring that those without visas are not allowed entry into the country.
The policy also permits an extension in the stay of registered refugees in the country till December 31, 2017.
Many Afghan refugees have been sheltering in Pakistan for decades, first fleeing over the border after the Soviet invasion of 1979.
Some 4.2 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan voluntarily under the UNHCR-funded Voluntary Repatriation programme since 2002.-APP