The United Nations says Pakistan has agreed to extend the deadline for the repatriation of 2m Afghan refugees, reported BBC.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, told the BBC that there was now a consensus that the deadline of 2009 was "unrealistic".
Given the poor economic and security situation in Afghanistan, three to five years seemed more practical, he said.
In the past, Pakistan has said Taleban militants blamed for attacks often sheltered in refugee camps.
Mr Guterres also told the BBC that the UN was set to launch an international appeal for up to 300,000 Pakistanis displaced by an ongoing military campaign against the Taleban.
Pakistan, the UN and Afghanistan had a plan to repatriate 2.4 million Afghan refugees by the end of 2009 on condition that the process was voluntary.
But Mr Guterres told the BBC that the UN had agreed with the Pakistani government on the principles of a new strategy which would avoid a hard deadline and instead plan for a more general repatriation period.
"I think that three to five years is a good horizon to establish the planning figures for our work and that is what we will now have to see in detail with the Pakistani government," he said.
During this time the UN would increase efforts to improve living conditions in Afghanistan and undertake projects in Pakistan to ease the burden of hosting the refugees, he said.
Mr Guterres also said the UN planned to launch an international appeal next week for hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis displaced by fighting near the Afghan border.
"It is indeed a humanitarian crisis if you have such levels of displacement in an area with instability, with insecurity, it is very difficult to fully respond to this challenge," he said.
The army is bombarding the area as part of an operation against the Pakistani Taleban.