Islamabad, 30 November 2021 (TDI): The United States Charge d’affaires in Pakistan, Angela Price Aggeler, visited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise (DRIVE) Center on Friday.
This DRIVE was arranged in Islamabad by the Government of Pakistan and UNHCR to renew and provide the Proof of Registration (POR) Cards to eligible Afghan refugees. The process is important to ensure the safety of Afghan refugees and protect the sovereignty of Pakistan.
On November 26, Chargé d’affaires a.i. Angela P. Aggeler visited a @UNHCRPakistan Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise (DRIVE) Center. Proof of Registration cards are an important part of the protection & hospitality that Pakistan has extended to refugees. pic.twitter.com/27YWTV5IwC
— U.S. Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) November 29, 2021
Angela Aggeler commended the step stating that it would grant protection to the vulnerable Afghans, besides acknowledging Pakistan’s hospitality towards its neighboring state.
Pakistan introduced the exercise to register the Afghan refugees currently residing in the country. It was emphasized that any refugee who fails to process or renew their Proof of Registration Card (POR) will lose the POR status in Pakistan.
The Proof of Registration Card is made for asylum seekers and refugees which guarantees their freedom of movement within the host country. The loss of POR status would indicate that the refugee is illegally living in the host country.
Significance of the DRIVE
The Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise was primarily organized for security reasons.
Earlier, when no proper registration procedure for the Afghan refugees was adopted in Pakistan, it enabled the non-state actors, particularly the terrorists, to enter Pakistan through illegal means and use the land for criminal activities.
Therefore, the adoption of such registration procedures is necessary to ensure the safety of Afghan refugees and Pakistani citizens, along with maintaining the country’s territorial sovereignty at large.