5,000 Afghan refugees repatriate to Afghanistan in 2014

October 28, 2014 Off By Web Desk

QUETTA: Eight Afghan refugee families comprising of fifty four individuals were repatriated to Afghanistan bringing the total number of Afghans who have returned to Afghanistan in 2014 to just over 5,000 individuals.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has facilitated the voluntary return to Afghanistan of more than 3.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan since 2002. More than one hundred thousand from 2007 till to date have gone back from Balochistan.

William Lipsit, Officer in Charge at UNHCR Quetta said “The return of Afghan refugees has been the largest such operation in the world. Repatriation is a cornerstone of the Tripartite Agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and UNHCR hopes that the number of refugees who return to live in Afghanistan will increase in the coming months and years”.

The repatriation process is based purely on a voluntary basis and every person opting to return is counseled so he or she may make an informed decision. In 2014, out of the total return from Balochistan, 46.26% returned from Quetta and its immediate area.

The main provinces of destination in Afghanistan have been Kandahar 30%, Kunduz 21%, Sari Pul 8%,Hilmand 7%, Baghlan 6% and others 28%.

In terms of ethnicity, returnees were: Pashtun 73%, Uzbek 10%, Tajik 9%, Hazara 3%, Baloch 1% and others 4%. The overall return from Balochistan represents 38% of the total return from Pakistan.

UNHCR is striving hard to ease the burden of refugees in Pakistan and have supported the country’s endeavors to ensure the provision of health, education, and other basic facilities to the refugees.

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