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Taliban denies refugees entry to Pakistan

Despite reports on Monday of border controls between Afghanistan and Pakistan having been eased, Afghan refugees from war-stricken areas in northern Afghanistan continue to be denied entry into Pakistan, a UNHCR official told IRIN on Tuesday. The official said that all new displaced persons arriving at Torkham border crossing, including potential refugees seeking asylum in Pakistan, had been sent back by security personnel of the Taliban Islamic movement, which now controls up to 95 percent of Afghanistan.

The UNHCR official said that, despite reports of an easing of border controls by Pakistan, an effective ban on new arrivals was still in force. “There is a screening procedure in operation by the Taliban authorities that identifies and turns away new arrivals,” the source said. Pakistan, which hosts over 1.2 million registered Afghan refugees and has accepted 30,000 in the last two months, on 9 November banned the entry of new refugees, citing economic difficulties and security concerns.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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