Afghan refugees in “no man’s land” in Pakistan

The Pakistani government, which recently set up a deadline to register all Afghan citizens in Pakistan who identified themselves as refugees, has since declared all unregistered Afghans as illegal immigrants.

The govenment agency in charge may have inadequately registered Afghan citizens, or simply denied them refugee status. There are currently 50,000 Afghan refugees in the country and an estimated 82,000 unregistered Afghans. Afghans assert that they remain peaceful in the country despite consistent harassment by police. Their current undetermined status leaves them in limbo, as repatriation becomes even more difficult and resources within Pakistan (including education) are out of reach. Their muddled status comes as American and Pakistani military forces are working to bolster their security of the “porous” Afghan border with Pakistan, a region where Pakistani militants are known to slip into Afghanistan to join with the insurgency there. To read more…