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Afghans told to leave Kurram Agency in a week

PARACHINAR: Kurram Agency political administration has asked the Afghan nationals to leave the area within a week, officials said on Sunday.

They said the political authorities had also launched a survey in the villages adjoining the border to collect data about Afghans residing without legal documents. Banners have been displayed in main towns and announcements made through loudspeakers asking Afghans to wind up their commercial activities and leave the area within one week.

The government had closed down refugee camps across Fata in 2003 after receiving complaints from Nato forces that militants used these camps as launching pad for carrying out terrorist activities inside Afghanistan. The government relocated thousands of Afghans to camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Despite closure of camps and the ban Afghan nationals have been residing in different areas of Kurram and other tribal agencies. Afghans have also rented shops and houses in the region.

The political administration in Khyber Agency had recently expelled Afghans from Bara, Jamrud and Landi Kotal. Crackdown on Afghans having no legal documents is underway across the country, expediting return of registered and unregistered refugees to their homeland.

An official in Parachinar said that the campaign against Afghan nationals was started on the directives of the federal government.

He said the administration would launch crackdown on Afghans and deport them after the deadline expired. The official said villages where Afghans were residing had been identified.

Meanwhile, ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain has regretted harassment of Afghan nationals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country, our Peshawar Bureau adds.

In a statement issued in Peshawar on Sunday, he said victimisation of refugees would escalate tensions between the two countries. He said his party won`t allow ill-treatment of Afghans.-Correspondent