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Young Refugees: Afghan Children in Pakistan

As two neighbors grapple with their commonalities and differences, a susceptible fallout lies in the wake.

Awal Gul, 12.
Muhammed Muheisen for Associated Press
Laiba Hazrat, 6.
Muhammed Muheisen for Associated Press

Serial occurrences of the Soviet invasion, internal wars, and American occupation has led to what could be called the Afghan diaspora, most of it pouring into a single host: neighboring Pakistan.

What began in the 1970s is happening still today, hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees who arrived into Pakistan in waves: first fleeing from the USSR, then civil war, and now the US-led "war on terror."

These terrorized innocents today live in squalor and penury, many of them residing in slums on the outskirts of Pakistan's upscale capital Islamabad.

Perhaps the most precious and vulnerable of Afghanistan's displaced are its children, captured in this photo spread by Muhammed Muheisen (AP).

Unable to return to their native land and not always welcomed in their adopted home, these young ones live difficult lives but still manage to smile and pose for the camera.