Afghans in Pakistan (Urdu: افغان مهاجرين, Afghan Muhajreen) primarily constitute refugees who have fled wars in Afghanistan, but there are small numbers of Afghan asylum seekers, migrant workers, merchants, businesspeople, exchange students and diplomats. Most were born and raised in Pakistan and are under age 30, but are still considered citizens of Afghanistan. They are under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and have been given legal status in Pakistan until the end of 2017.
The first wave of Afghan refugees to Pakistan began during the Soviet–Afghan War in the late 1970s. By the end of 2001, there were over four million. Most have returned to Afghanistan since 2002. The UNHCR reported in February 2017 that about 1.3 million registered Afghan citizens still remained in Pakistan, distributed as follows: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (62 percent); Balochistan (20 percent); Punjab (10 percent); Sindh (4 percent) and Islamabad (2 percent).
They are primarily Afghanistan's Pashtuns, followed by Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Baloch and Turkmen. In March 2012, Pakistan banned visa extensions for all foreigners. In September 2018, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan made a surprise announcement pledging to grant citizenship to 1.5 million Afghan refugees resident in Pakistan. This promise, however, was not followed through.
After the Dec
After the December 2014 Peshawar school massacre, the deadliest terrorist incident in Pakistan's history (in which two Afghan militants were involved), Pakistani authorities cracked down on Afghan refugee settlements to apprehend illegal immigrants. At least 30,000 Afghans left for Afghanistan, of whom nearly 2,000 were deported due to a lack of legal documentation. In February 2015. over 1,000 Afghans per day were reportedly returning to Afghanistan at Torkham Crossing. By September 2015, over 137,000 Afghans had returned to Afghanistan.