Pakistani government and the UN refugee agency UNHCR Thursday launched a report on the registration of Afghan citizens in Pakistan, offering insight into the demographic profile of this population.
A total of 2.153 million Afghans were registered in the 15-week exercise conducted from October 2006 to February 2007 by Pakistani government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR).
All registered Afghans above the age of five received Proof of Registration (PoR) cards recognizing them as Afghan citizens temporarily living in Pakistan.
The cards are valid for three years, until December 2009.
Registration findings show that some 64 percent of Afghans in Pakistan live in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and 21 percent in southwest province Baluchistan.
Afghans constitute 6 percent of the population in NWFP and about 5.9 percent of Baluchistan.
According to the report, a total of 976,605 Afghans live in 86 camps across Pakistan while about 55 percent of the over 2 million registered Afghans live outside camps.
Registration results also reflect a very young Afghan population in Pakistan with 74 percent of them being below 28.
Some 71 percent of the Afghans in Pakistan have no formal education and only 20 percent are active in the labor market.
Despite the challenges they face in Pakistan, about 82 percent of registered Afghans said they have concerns about returning home in the near future.
Accordingly, security (41.6 percent) was their foremost concern, followed by shelter (30.7 percent) and livelihood opportunities ( 24.4 percent) in Afghanistan.
Access to land or shelter remains a major obstacle to return, with 89 percent of the Afghans indicating they do not own land.
UNHCR's Representative in Pakistan, Guenet Guebre-Christos, said they would use the registration findings to work closely with the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to develop arrangements to manage Afghans living in Pakistan and to facilitate solutions for them.