Afghan refugees hold rally, want to settle in developed countries

Published May 24, 2022
Afghan refugees scuffle with police during their protest rally near parade ground on Monday. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad
Afghan refugees scuffle with police during their protest rally near parade ground on Monday. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of Afghan nationals on Monday staged a protest rally in Islamabad to get shelters in developed countries saying they don’t want to go back to their country being governed by Taliban.

The Afghan nationals, who have been camping outside the National Press Club for the last several weeks, brought out the rally from the press club to D-Chowk.

Some of the protesters Dawn spoke to said they were insecure under the Taliban government that’s why they left their country.

“We are here and want to get settled in any developed country. So far, we are not being given the status of refugees here,” said Alyas Zaki, a protester.

He said Pakistan was also not providing asylum to them, adding: “We know people of Pakistan are also facing several challenges such as unemployment and high inflation, therefore, frankly speaking, we want to stay in any developed country,” he said.

Another protester, Mir Waiz, said after the takeover by Taliban last year, thousands of Afghan nationals came to Pakistan and were now facing issues of documentation as Pakistan, it seems, is not going to provide asylum to them. He urged the developed countries to look into the issues of Afghans who along with their families were moving from one place to other.

Many of the protesters were wearing white shrouds inscribed with the slogan “kill us, kill us”.

The protesters, most of them unable to speak Urdu or English, seemed committed to their cause. Some elderly people on wheelchairs were also part of the protest.

“I don’t want to go back; I will stay here or any other country but will not go back to Kabul because of life threats,” said 50-year-old Habiba, who along with her four daughters moved from Kabul to Islamabad.

She said his husband was a police official but since the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban he has been missing.

It may be noted that Pakistan has already been hosting around 1.5 million Afghan refugees for decades.

Published in Dawn,May 24th, 2022

Opinion

The sixth wave

The sixth wave

PCR testing has drastically gone down in Pakistan and our disease surveillance system needs much more strengthening.

Editorial

Udaipur killing
Updated 01 Jul, 2022

Udaipur killing

The crime committed in Udaipur did not happen in a vacuum.
Unacceptable demand
Updated 01 Jul, 2022

Unacceptable demand

Negotiating with extremists is tricky; no peace treaty with them has lasted beyond a few months.
Tough times ahead
01 Jul, 2022

Tough times ahead

THE finance ministry’s projection of 15pc inflation, much higher than the targeted rate of 11.5pc, during the new...
More ‘prior actions’
Updated 30 Jun, 2022

More ‘prior actions’

It is crucial that the IMF reconsiders its stance and releases the funds at the earliest to calm uneasy markets.
Growing power crisis
30 Jun, 2022

Growing power crisis

THE country’s escalating power crisis risks exacerbating the law-and-order situation as people take to the streets...
Attack on polio team
30 Jun, 2022

Attack on polio team

THE threat of deadly violence never seems to diminish for health workers and police officials involved in...