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Afghan refugees asked to leave Pakistan's Bajaur tribal region in 3 days
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10:10, June 28, 2009

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Authorities in the northwest Pakistan's Bajaur tribal region Saturday asked Afghan refugees to leave the area in three days or face action, the News Network International reported.

The political agent in Bajaur agency, Zakir Hussain Afridi, issued the order over security concerns as the authorities believe that Afghan militants may be helping Pakistani Taliban.

"All Afghan refugees must leave Bajaur agency within three days. They will face expulsion and penalty if they did not leave the area," the order said.

The announcements were made through loudspeakers in main towns Khar, Enayat Qila and Siddiqabad, according to local tribesmen.

The Pakistan's security forces are engaged in offensive against the militants in Bajaur, one of the seven tribal regions considered once as stronghold of Taliban.

There are thousands of Afghan refugees sill living in Bajaur, bordering Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar.

Many Afghans have already left Bajaur due to operation against the militants and due to previous orders by the Pakistani authorities. But Afghans are still residing in rented houses and many have their own property and business, locals said.

Pakistani and UN refugee agency officials say there are still around 1.6 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and many have a Proof of Registration (PoR) card, which allows Afghans to live in three years in Pakistan.


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