Thursday, April 25, 2024

The exodus of Afghans continues

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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Since the end of the airlift that About 123,000 people have been evacuatedThose who could not exploit it are trying to enter Pakistan, Iran or the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

At Torkham, one of the main border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Large numbers of Afghans are waiting for the border to openA Pakistani official confirmed to Reuters.

On Tuesday, the BBC reported that thousands of people had stormed another border post between the two countries, Spin Boldak, by thousands of people.

The Torkham site, the closest site for Afghans fleeing Kabul, links the Pakistani city of Peshawar, while the Spin Boldak site in the southwest links Kandahar with Quetta.

For Hussain, who was unable to leave the country thanks to the airlift despite holding a US passport he obtained after years of toil for the US military, the choice is heartbreaking. A father of six daughters, recently lost his wife due to COVID-19.

I hear in the news and from relatives that thousands of Afghans are waiting to be able to cross into Pakistan. I don’t know if I should go there or to Tajikistan.

Quote from:Hussain, US passport holder

According to Reuters witnesses, thousands of people are also crowding at the Islam Qala border crossing, which allows Afghans in the northwest, especially in Herat, to find refuge in Iran.


This Afghan family managed to seek refuge in Iran after crossing the Islam Qala border crossing.

Photo: Reuters/Wana News Agency

I feel safer surrounded by Iranian security forces, he says to an Afghan after he managed to leave his country.

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Iran, a Shiite country, is in particular a favorite destination for members of the ethnic Hazara community, who follow this branch of Islam and who have historically been repressed by the Taliban, the Sunnis.

According to a recent estimate by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than half a million Afghans could flee their country by the end of the year.

We are preparing to receive nearly 500,000 new refugees in the region. This is the worst case scenario.

Quote from:Kelly Clements, Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees

Even before the Taliban took power, UNHCR estimated that half of the Afghan population, including 4 million women and 10 million children, needed humanitarian assistance.

Several aid organizations have expressed concerns in recent days that the situation could deteriorate significantly, given that Freezing Afghan capital abroad.

Afghans who arrived in Pakistan after crossing the border point between Spin Boldak and Chaman on August 27, 2021.

Photo: Reuters / Saeed Ali Ahkazy

While waiting for the airport to reopen

The journey to the border on roads riddled with Taliban checkpoints is fraught with danger, especially for former collaborators with foreign armies.

Foreign passport or visa holders and Afghans who are able to pay big bribes seem to be in the best position to make this happen.

The Afghans’ determination to take risks in the coming days and weeks will also depend on the expected resumption of civilian flights at Kabul airport, which is now in Taliban hands.

western countries, Including CanadaDon’t hide the fact that they are counting on this recovery so that many Afghans left behind due to lack of time can leave the country unimpeded.

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For several days, they have been urging the Taliban to let the Afghans who wish to pass unimpeded. The Taliban have Pledge to give up those who have official documents.

Qatar, which is emerging as a mediator between Western countries and the Taliban, also called on the Afghan Islamic Movement on Wednesday to establish safe passage For people wishing to leave Afghanistan.

We have insisted with the Taliban on the issue of freedom of movement so that there is safe passage for those who want to leave or enter if they so wish.Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said.

We hope that these commitments will be fulfilled in the near future when the airport resumes its operations, running smoothly and without obstacles for anyone.

Quote from:Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar

A Qatari Boeing C-17A Globemaster carrying a technical team landed in Kabul on Wednesday for a discussion Resumption of operations at the airportA source close to the matter told AFP.

It is the first foreign plane to land in Kabul since the last US soldier left the Afghan capital on Monday.

Although no final agreement was reached on the provision of technical assistance, a team from Qatar started a discussion at the request. The same source added from the Taliban and other personalities, without specifying them.

The aim is to resume flights to and from Kabul, to provide humanitarian assistance and to ensure freedom of movement in a safe and secure manner, including the resumption of evacuations., from her point of view.

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