Thousands of Afghan refugees have left Pakistan and crossed the border into Afghanistan as a November 1 deadline to leave the country took effect. Islamabad has vowed to deport an estimated 1.7 million undocumented Afghans living in Pakistan if they don’t leave voluntarily.
The decision has sparked a humanitarian crisis, as many Afghans have no place to go back to in their war-torn country, where the Taliban regime has taken over. Some of them have lived in Pakistan for decades, having fled the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 or the subsequent civil wars and conflicts.
Many of them have faced harassment, arrest, and intimidation by Pakistani authorities in recent months, as the country has blamed them for its own economic, security, and political problems