Pakistan extends refugee status for Afghans

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FILE - In this Thursday, April 22, 2010 photo, Afghan refugee women wait for transport to leave for Afghanistan at a repatriation center run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in Peshawar. Pakistan has extended refugee status for over a million Afghans in the country by an additional six months, the government announced a move likely to ease fears of Afghans living in Pakistan that they would soon have to return home. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad, File)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The United Nations says Pakistan has extended refugee status for over a million Afghans living in the country. It was set to expire June 30.

The U.N.'s refugee agency said Friday Pakistan agreed to extend their status while it comes up with a new policy.

Pakistan has been hosting Afghan refugees dating back to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan three decades ago. There are 1.6 million in Pakistan. Many Pakistanis have become frustrated with the length of time the Afghans have stayed and want them to leave.

Pakistan has said it will not forcibly evict Afghans. However, revoking their refugee status would encourage people to return to Afghanistan.

Refugee status allows Afghans to get a government ID card that they use for everyday activities like banking or registering for school.