Many Afghans in Pakistan cannot return to Afghanistan and are in fact an integral part of Pakistan. However, once revered as the heroic “mujahid”, Afghans in Pakistan are now constructed as the destructive “talib” – a complete 180-degree turn from the 1970s-90s, when Afghan migration was actively encouraged by Pakistan, the US and other international actors to defeat the Soviet “menace”. [...] Now the situation is starkly different. “[Why is] there is no legitimacy to our status? [Is it] because the war [in Afghanistan] is directed by the US?” the former fighter wondered. “Now these people say that our land is free so we should return [to Afghanistan] …but we have been here for over 30 years!” As state relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have deteriorated, so too has the status of Afghans in Pakistan. More here.