Islamabad - Members of Parliament and the United Nation Human Rights Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) have denied media reports which state that 1.7 million Afghan refugees would be expelled from Pakistan by end of this year.
UNHCR spokesman Aslam Khan said Pakistan had no intention to oust the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan by end of 2012, reports The Dawn.
He said Pakistan was bound to fulfill its obligation, adding that the Afghan refugees possessing registration cards would not be displaced by force until they were ready to go back to Afghanistan voluntarily.
He said war torn Afghanistan was not in a position to accommodate 1.7 million Afghan refugees at this stage.
Federal Minister for States and Frontier Region, Engineer Shaukatullah also said that all registered and non-registered Afghan refugees, willing to go back to their homes voluntarily, would be repatriated by end of this year.
Senior leader of ANP Senator Afrasiyab Khan Khattakhas said, Afghan refugees are undoubtedly a burden on Pakistan in view of the present economic situation, but these people are living in Pakistan due to their certain compulsions, therefore, he would not support their forced expulsion from the country.
Spokesman UNHCR in Pakistan, Dunya Aslam Khan, said those refugees who were living illegally in Pakistan might be expelled. She added that Pakistan made a commitment to the UNHCR Country Director that no recognized Afghan refugee would be deported from Pakistan.
According to Pakistani officials, about one million Afghans are living in Pakistan without valid documents. Currently, at least one million non-registered Afghan refugees presently living in Pakistan have reported to be sent back by force.
UNHCR officials said that non-registered Afghan refugees should, therefore, register themselves before being repatriated to Afghanistan.