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Caught in the Crossfire: Afghan Refugees Amidst Taliban Indifference

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

The most critical issue for the people of Afghanistan apart from food security and humanitarian challenges faced in the wake of disasters is that of seeking honourable refuge in the county of their choice or where they are forced to migrate.

While Pakistan and Iran had been hosting thousands of Afghans many of them illegal after the Taliban took power, now that the two are insisting on deporting them they are perforce migrating back to Afghanistan or to other countries.

Here they are again facing challenges and even if the UK is permitting a select number of Afghans to enter the country, there is likely to be a challenge of settlement on a permanent basis.

The Independent reported that thousands of eligible Afghans facing safety and security risks in Iran and Pakistan are set to be relocated to the United Kingdom in the near future. Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was compelled to authorize the relocation of thousands of Afghans to London, following warnings from British diplomats about the lack of security for Afghans in Iran and Pakistan as per the Independent.

Afghans are also complaining of harassment in countries as Turkey and while the Islamic Emirate is aware of the issues they are unwilling to create suitable atmosphere in the country for return of the hapless people.

And it is not just Pakistan but Afghan migrants as per TOLOnews were arrested arbitrarily by the Turkish police even as Islamic Emirate pledged to hold discussions with Turkish authorities about the situation of Afghan refugees.

"We stayed in a camp for about 20 days in Van province. The officers beat us too much. In that country, animals are more valuable than humans. Then they left us on the Iranian border, two of our four people were killed by shooting of Turkish border guards and two of us came alive and my hand was injured," said Hekmatullah, a migrant as per Tolonews.

Turkey is a popular destination for Afghan illegal migrants who seek to make their way to Europe thus there are thousands who are lodged in that country more than what it can handle even as there are other migrants too in large numbers such as Syrians.

The Taliban’s approach to this issue is indifference even as it claims to have created suitable conditions in the country for return of the refugees and contacts the governments of countries where they migrate from time to time, but these actions are clearly not enough as Afghans suffer due to the innate survival challenges in their homeland.

Recently, Taliban announceed a refugee focused attache in the embassy which is move in the right direction, but he will have to be provided adequate staff to carry out the work of managing the return as ordered by Pakistan and is likely to by Iran as well.

Management of the returnees and providing them adequate shelter is essential while millions are awaiting return and the same number has to be managed within that country who are seen as legal refugees.


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