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3 million Afghans in Pakistan

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    Three million Afghans still in Pakistan: report http://www.dawn.com/cgi-bin/dina.pl?file=nat13.htm&date=20050503 ISLAMABAD, May 2: More than three million
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2005
      Three million Afghans still in Pakistan: report

      http://www.dawn.com/cgi-bin/dina.pl?file=nat13.htm&date=20050503

      ISLAMABAD, May 2: More than three million Afghans are still living in
      Pakistan, out of over five million who had escaped the Soviet
      occupation of their war-torn homeland in the 1980s, says a report of a
      recently-conducted countrywide census released by the government on
      Monday.

      Secretary Ministry for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Sajid
      Hussain Chattha, Chief Census Commissioner Najam Hassan and Guenet
      Guebre-Christos, representative of the UNHCR in Pakistan, told a news
      conference here on Monday that the census carried out between late
      February and early March this year counted a total of 3,047,225
      Afghans who had arrived after December 1, 1979.

      The conference was informed that the census carried out by the
      government, with technical and financial assistance from the UNHCR,
      was the first exercise ever undertaken to count the number of Afghans
      in Pakistan.

      Previous figures of Afghans who had arrived since the Soviet invasion
      had always been estimates.

      The UNHCR said it would accept the figures determined in the
      government exercise. It was also agreed by the government of Pakistan
      that not all Afghans in the country would be of concern to the UN
      refugee agency.

      The census, which was carried out in all areas of Pakistan, found
      1,861,412 Afghans living in the North-West Frontier Province, 783,545
      in Balochistan, 136,780 in Sindh, 207,754 in Punjab, 44,637 in
      Islamabad and 13,097 in Azad Kashmir or the Northern Areas.

      A more detailed report on the data gathered by 3,000 census workers
      was being prepared and would be available by the end of May. This
      would include the precise place of residence, sources of livelihood,
      place of origin in Afghanistan, intention to return this year and
      other information.

      "The data will be vital as the government of Pakistan and UNHCR will
      collaborate to work out ways to manage the Afghan population which
      might remain in Pakistan after the current Tripartite Agreement
      expires," said Ms Guebre-Christos, head of the UNHCR in Pakistan.

      The meeting was informed that the voluntary repatriation programme was
      conducted under a Tripartite Agreement between the UNHCR, Pakistan and
      Afghanistan.

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