ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan with the support of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has opened 11 Proof of Registration (PoR) card modification (PCM) centers across the country.
The PCM centres located in Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Nowshera, Mianwali, Lower Dir, Haripur and Kohat, will serve Afghan refugees who hold Proof of Registration (PoR) cards with an expiry date of June 2023. Run by Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), these PCM centres will update, correct and change information of the PoR card holders.
Mr. Gohar Ahmed, the Chief Project Officer for NADRA, Mr. Farid Ullah Jan, Commissioner for Afghan Refugees (HQ), and Ms. Noriko Yoshida, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan inaugurated Islamabd PCM center . Representatives from the international community attended the event.
Mr. Gohar Ahmed informed that PCM operations have been extended to 11 nationwide sites equipped with 80 counters and 140 IT professionals to serve Afghan citizens more effectively. “By virtue of support from UNHCR and other development partners, PoR cardholders can register their newborn children and obtain a birth certificate,” said Mr. Ahmed.
In addition, as part of services offered by the PCM centres, registered children who turn five years of age can avail of their own PoR card. A PoR cardholder can also obtain a Family Information Certificate including for their unregistered family member recorded during the most recent verification exercise.
Mr. Farid Ullah Jan noted that it was a landmark achievement that the data of Afghan refugees were verified and updated during the DRIVE exercise conducted last year, and extended his appreciation to the donor community for their continued support and the hope that the PCM centres will enable refugees to get swift services in their respective areas.
Speaking on the occasion, the UNHCR Representative underscored the significance of the identity document which grants legal status and protects Afghan refugees from arbitrary detention and deportation during their stay in Pakistan as well as provides access to essential services. “It is important for Afghan refugees to hold updated cards that help ensure access to health, education and other facilities,” she said.
Pakistan hosts some 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees who are holding PoR cards.