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Afghanistan Asks Pakistan To Postpone Camp Closure

23 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghanistan called on Pakistan on 22 August to postpone the closure of all refugee camps in the Pakistani tribal regions.

Pakistan had said the camps are being shut by the end of the month for security reasons.

The Afghan government said in a statement that every decision about the fate of the 32 camps being closed should follow an earlier three-way agreement between Islamabad, Kabul, and the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

Thousands of refugees say they need at least two years to move out of the camps, which have provided shelter for more than 20 years to Afghans fleeing their war-torn homeland.

Many say they need time to wind up their decades-old businesses and sell out their properties.

Pakistan has unilaterally ordered camps in the semi-autonomous tribal area in North-West Frontier Province to close by 31 August 31 because of "security concerns."


See also:

"Pakistani Islamist Opens Pandora's Box"

"30,000 Afghans To Be Evicted From Refugee Settlement Near Islamabad"