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Afghan refugees in Pakistan can remain in the country until the end of the year.

The decision by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif comes after an earlier deadline of June 30 for Afghan refugees to leave the country was set to expire.

Pakistan is currently hosting at least 1.5 million Afghan refugees.

In a statement late on June 29, the government said Sharif had ordered authorities to work with the UN refugee agency and the Afghan government to gradually relocate the refugee camps from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Islamabad says a number of militants are hiding in the refugee camps.

The UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, visited Pakistan this week. He announced that an assistance package for Afghan refugees who decide to return home will double from $200 to $400.

Grandi on June 29 praised Pakistan for generously hosting Afghan refugees.

Based on reporting by AP

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on the United Nations to suspend Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council until a Saudi-led coalition stops killing civilians in Yemen.

"Saudi Arabia has amassed an appalling record of violations in Yemen," Philippe Bolopion, HRW's deputy director, said on June 29. "Saudi Arabia is in a league of its own...getting away with murder in a way that no other country has been able to do."

A Saudi-led coalition began an air campaign in Yemen in March 2015 to defeat Huthi rebels.

The two rights groups said they documented 69 unlawful air strikes, some of which may amount to war crimes, that killed at least 913 civilians.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir dismissed the accusations as "outrageous," telling reporters in Paris that "the coalition is very cautious in selecting targets. We do not harm civilians."

The UN General Assembly can suspend a state from the Human Rights Council for committing gross and systematic violations of human rights.

The UN blacklisted the Saudi coalition this month for killing children in Yemen. However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heeded Saudi protests and removed the coalition from the blacklist pending review.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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