PESHAWAR - Only 1,000 registered Afghan refugees have returned to their country from Pakistan so far during the current year, a media report said on Saturday.
The UNHCR-sponsored voluntary repatriation of registered Afghan refugees saw a sharp decline in the current year, Dawn reported, citing officials.
In the corresponding period last year, the newspaper recalled, 1,597 registered refugees had returned to their homeland,
The record downturn in the return of refugees was tied to the Covid-19 pandemic in the region and the worsening security situation in Afghanistan.
More than 1.4 million registered refugees and about 600,000 Afghan citizen card-holders are currently living in Pakistan.
A thousand Afghans (around 245 families) had returned to their country since March under the voluntary repatriation programme, UNHCR spokesperson Qaiser Khan Afridi said. (Pajhwok)