Rocked gently on his mother's knees, a fly on his nose, a baby sleeps fitfully in a tent at a barren border camp while his family prepares to leave the waypoint to rebuild their lives in Afghanistan.

In the transit camp at Torkham, where returnees driven out of Pakistan sweat in burning heat during the day and shiver through the night, many of the blue tents — facing the foot of mountains standing stark against a cloudless sky — have already emptied.

Trucks overloaded with families, carrying cushions, brightly colored blankets and kitchen utensils, are readied to set off.