Officials from the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, the European Union and the International Organization for Migration on Tuesday discussed the details of return of Afghan refugees to their country.
Statistics issued by the International Organization for Migration indicate that at least one million undocumented Afghans are still in Pakistan.
"Support for improving migration management in general, including in the area of return and reintegration, is an objective under EU development cooperation and the special measures that we implement in Afghanistan is a rapid reaction to an unprecedented challenge," head of Unit in charge of Migration in DG DEVCO, European Commission, Raffaella Iodice, told a ceremony in Kabul.
The IOM has warned that some of these refugees could be exploited by the terrorist organizations or possibly again leave their country unless the Afghan government and its international partners reach out help them once they are resettled in the own country.
“Our joint collaboration under this project marks a critical and much needed step towards providing longer-term, sustainable, income-generating solutions and livelihoods for returnees” said Laurence Hart, IOM’s Chief of Mission and Special Envoy in Afghanistan.
“Not only will this project have a positive impact on tens of thousands of Afghan returnees and high return communities, it will also serve as a valuable learning platform for creating successful return, reintegration and development interventions in the future,” said Mr. Hart.
According to the EU statistics, at least 580 Afghan asylum seekers were expelled from European countries in 2016 while this figure was around 152 asylum seekers in 2015.
At the same event, the refugees and repatriation minister Sayed Husain Alemi Balkhi protested the expulsion of Afghan refugees from Iran and Pakistan against the trilateral agreement signed between Afghanistan, the UN and the host countries.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan is dealing with the refugees from a political perspective. However, the Pakistani officials in every meeting pledge not to politically exploit the refugees, but they repeat it again and again,” Balkhi said.