Pakistan completes biometric registration of over 41,000 Afghans

Islamabad, Sep 25 (IANS) The biometric registration of over 41,000 Afghan nationals has been completed in Pakistan’s Punjab province under the National Action Programme (NAP), the media reported on Friday.

According to police sources, the biometric registration of Afghans staying in Pakistan legally began on January 8, Dawn online reported.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has already introduced a biometric machine and new passport reading facility at Rawalpindi’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport after 10 Afghan nationals slipped through the airport for Britain on fraud documents last year.

Under the biometric system, fingerprints are obtained to verify the person’s identity.

Security officials believed that after the registration through the biometric system, it would be easier to trace illegal Afghan immigrants or those overstaying in the country.

They said the biometric registration of Afghans would help the law enforcement agencies check illegal immigrants as in some cases they entered Pakistan with valid travel documents but later violated the law by overstaying.

Security sources said more than 40 slums still existed in Islamabad even after the recent operation to clear the area.

None of the Afghan refugees evicted from the sector returned to their country, said the sources, adding most of them resettled in different parts of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

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