Asia

Pakistan says Afghan refugees can stay through December

Pakistan has extended the deadline for its 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees to return home, saying they can remain through the end of this year.

Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb says the decision to postpone the deadline from March until the end of December was approved in a Tuesday Cabinet meeting.

Pakistan, which is also home to an estimated 1 million unregistered Afghan refugees, has not said what it plans to do once the deadline expires. Many of the refugees have been in Pakistan for decades, after fleeing the war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s or the civil war in the 1990s.

Aurangzeb says the Cabinet also introduced several other measures, including a new visa regime, to control Afghans' movement along the porous border.