Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that his government will give citizenship to all Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees who are born in Pakistan, according to media reports
Prime Minister Khan, during his maiden visit to Karachi on Sunday after forming the government, said that Pakistan-born Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees would get National Identity Cards (NICs) and passports, the Express Tribune reported.
“These poor migrants from Bangladesh, they have been here for more than 40 years, their children are grown older now…we will give them passports and ID cards, as well as those Afghans whose children have been raised here, who were born here, we will also give them (citizenship),” Khan was quoted as saying by media reports.
Pakistan is home to more than 1.39 million Afghan refugees, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), many of whom have been resident in the country for more than 30 years.
There are also more than 200,000 Bangladeshis in Pakistan. Many of them arrived during Pakistan’s civil war in 1971, when Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, gained independence.