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Pakistan Extends Refugee Status For Afghans

Afghan women and their children wait at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees registration center on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan.
Afghan refugees in Pakistan have had their refugee status extended.

The Pakistani government said Afghans' refugee status was set to expire on December 30, but would now be extended by six months.

The government says there are 1.6 million registered and 1 million unregistered Afghans in Pakistan.

Analysts say many Afghan refugees in Pakistan are reluctant to return to Afghanistan, because of fears about violence and the poor economy.

The Pakistani government has said it will not forcibly evict Afghans.

Afghans with refugee status are eligible for government identification cards that can be used to get bank accounts or register for school.

Based on reporting by AP and