PESHAWAR: The representatives of the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan have come up with an eight-point demand list, including indefinite stay, linked to the restoration of peace in Afghanistan for refugees holding Afghan Citizen Cards. Thanking Pakistan and its people for hosting the largest number of refuges for 37 long years, Sardar Sherzad Committee for Solving Problems of the Afghan Refugees secretary and joint spokesman, also complained about the difficulties they were facing over the past few months. “It is sad that our stay in Pakistan is seemingly coming to its end. We spent many years with our loving and caring Pakistani hosts. However, the situation in Afghanistan is not yet peaceful or suitable for a return for most of us. We are faced with countless problems and that is the core reason we formed the refugee committee,” said Sherzad, who once worked in the Afghanistan Foreign Office. The committee consisted of 30 members of tribal elders, intellectuals, religious and political figures, businessmen, social workers and representatives of students. “We have committed representatives from each refugee camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The committee has already met Imran Khan, CM Pervez Khattak, Governor Zafar Iqbal Jaghra, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief Secretary and other influential figures in the province,” he said. Sherzad added that the meeting with Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan, proved a turning point in the efforts of the refugees committee as he took immediate notice of their concerns. “Imran Khan was not aware of most of our problems. He felt really sorry for our hardships and immediately ordered all concerned persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to help in solving our issues,” he claimed. One point on the agenda is the issuance of Afghan Citizen Cards to all refugees who don’t have such cards. The committee also demanded that refugees without cards should not be harassed by the police until they are given cards so that they could live and perform their routine duties peacefully in Pakistan. Sardar Sherzad also pointed to a newly developed issue which the Afghans are finding difficult on coming to terms. “We Afghans always attend weddings, funerals and other functions in relations and often the whole family attends such events. We demand that Afghan with Afghan passports, identity cards or Afghan citizen cards should be allowed to travel through all border crossings to attend such family events,” he said. Similarly, the demand list also addresses the issues faced by Afghan businessmen, especially money exchange dealers. The committee demanded of the provincial and the federal government to solve their problems so that the businessmen could continue earning their bread. “We are also concerned about the ban on admission of students in religious seminaries, schools, colleges and universities across Pakistan. Similarly, Afghans are facing huge problems in getting treatment at the public sector hospitals in KP. The committee requests the provincial government to solve these issues as access to education and health facilities is the basic right of every human being,” Sardar Sherzad added. The committee, in its demand list, also urged the provincial government to make sure the swift release of Afghans who were put behind bars in the recent raids. “The police in KP and other parts of Pakistan have arrested hundreds of Afghans who were not involved in any crime or political disobedience. They are living miserable lives in the jails. These innocent people should be released immediately,” Sardar Sherzad demanded. The committee also requested the government to find a suitable way of solving the issues of Afghan refugees who had acquired Pakistani identity cards.