PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Afghan refugees living in Pakistan should not be forced into returning to their homeland, a Senate Panel has suggested.
The Senate Functional Committee on the Problems of Less Developed Areas floated the recommendation on Tuesday after a presentation by a senior bureaucrat.
Earlier, Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Saleem Khan shared figures with lawmakers about the number of Afghans living in Pakistan.
He informed the parliamentary panel that 2.8 million Afghans were living in Pakistan, with each refugee family consisting of 7.2 people.
He said 74 per cent of the Afghans presently residing in the country were born in Pakistan.
Of the 2.8 million Afghans, 1.4m are registered, 850,000 have residency cards and around half a million have been living without documents.
“Only 32pc Afghans are in refugee camps and 68pc have shifted out of the camps to different parts of the country,” the official told the committee.
According to the chief commissioner, 58pc of the Afghans are residing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 23pc in Balochistan, 11pc in Punjab, 4.5pc in Sindh and 2.4pc in the federal capital.
The panel head said that Pakistan granted nationality to citizens of 15 countries including India and China. Unfortunately, he added, Pakistan denied nationality to those born on its soil.