ISLAMABAD: A campaign of verification of the Afghan refugees in Pakistan has been postponed due to the third wave of COVID-19 in the country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Wednesday.
Pakistan hosts more than 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees who hold the Proof of Registration (PoR) cards that allow them to stay legally in Pakistan. The card renewal and verification exercise for Afghan refugees was set to formally begin on April 1, 2021, according to a statement issued by the UN refugee agency.
The government of Pakistan and the UNHCR remain committed to the verification exercise, which will be undertaken as soon as conditions permit, the statement added. Earlier this month, the Pakistani federal cabinet approved issuance of smartcards to registered Afghan refugees in the country.
The cards would contain additional information of the Afghan refugees including their social and economic profile, their movement in Pakistan and details of their unregistered family members.
A total of 4,757 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Pakistan during the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 667,957, out of which 14,434 died and 603,126 recovered, according to the data released by the country’s health ministry on Wednesday.