Afghan refugees started to pour into Pakistan soon after Soviet Rusia invaded Afghanistan in 1979. This had nothing to do with Pakistan. The Soviets came to reinforce the pro Soviet faction in Kabul.
For the Indian's who blame Pakistan for the refugees I would suggest they look at East Bengal 1971. Was India responsible for the Bangali refugees? The cause lay inside East Bengal and India felt the effects in the form of refugees.
In the exact same way a internal dynamic of Afghanistan impacted Pakistan. So please don't blame Pakistan for the refugees. We have a economic and geographic reality which will ensure that what happens in Afghanistan rebounds into Pakistan.
Most of the Afghan geography opens into Pakistan. Kabul is only 110 miles from Pak. border, Peshawar and Islamabad are only 130, 230 miles respectively. Kabul River flows in K-P and into Indus near Attock. The famous GT road in fact extends westwards straight to Kabul - Although of course on the Afghan side it is not called as such.
The exact same applies to Kandahar and Quetta. This inexorable link underwritten by physical geography was evident in the recent ruckus over the NATO supply lines. After all said and done the route through Pakistan was the most efficient and cheapest.
I know on the map Iran offers another route but in practice it is not so great because most of the densely populated parts of Afghanistan are facing and open into Pakistan. On the south-western side all you have is wide expanse of Rigestan Desert.
On top of the geography the border is long and porous with the same ethinc/tribes living on both sides of a imaginery line. Every year the Powindah nomads from Afghan highlands can be seen even in Punjab with their herds and tents. So we are not going to be able to stop the Afghan refugees from walking across into Pakistan. The reasons could be war, economic or both.
One of the biggest 'industries' in the Af*Pak region is smuggling. Stuff is imported under the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement which lands at Karachi port. Trucks then drive up north and west in Afghanistan. Just over the border they park up. Stuff is emptied and then by mule etc shifted back into Pakistan to be sold in bazaars of Peshawar etc. This contraband stuff always sells cheaper than local stuf because it has zero duty on it.
I am pretty sure most Pak. members here will have bought some of this contraband stuff. So there is a deep symbiotic relationship that we in Pakistan have to accept. Of course it brings drugs, guns and crime but we have to live with that manage it unless we can move Pakistan to somewhere else in Asia.
Some Indians mentioned we gave guns to Afghans. That shows how ignorent you guys are of the facts on the ground.The Red Army left massive stockpiles in Afghanistan. In fact the Kalashnikov was introduced into Pakistan by Afghan refugees in 1980s. Most were Russian Red Army captured guns or those sold by the Afghan conscript deserters.
In Peshawar bazaars at one stage you could buy almost all the kit of a Soviet infantryman. Fur hats, overcoats, Kalashnikov, Soviet belts and boots. Now you can buy US-NATO stuff. So please don't blame this on Pakistan.
Now thee is a flip side to this. Indian's can spend billions but they can't change geography. You can pump water upstream all you want but eventually the gravity will bring it downstream. So Pakistan always will retain predominant influence come what may. Not through any positive act but geography will see to it.
Thats why I say to fellow Pakistani's I know the Afghan refugees can be rigt pain but instead throwing them out we need to legalize them and give thenm citizenship. Instead of throwing them out which is never going to work we need to just focuss on the trouble causers and sort them out.
These factors are what gives us the 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan without even lifting a finger. Of course they also pose law and order issues but we need to tackle them.
Another decisive factor is the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan is the Pashtun. Well we have 30 million of them in Pakistan. If that does not gives us a edge over others inside Afghanistan I don't know what will. There are more Pashtun living in Karachi then any other city in the world.