A funeral procession for an Afghan makes its way up the mountain. With U.S. and many other foreign visas nearly impossible to obtain, many Afghans hire human smugglers, making it dangerous and causing many Afghans to lose their lives.
As 2014 NATO pullout approaches, more Afghans flee their homeland
Posted by Kevin Sieff on January 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm
KABUL — Sixteen years after he fled from the Taliban, Zia Ahmadi was back at the Kabul airport, waiting for the body of a cousin who tried to do the same.
Two decades after Afghanistan witnessed one of the 20th century’s most dramatic refugee crises, a quieter exodus is gaining momentum. Zia Ahmadi was part of the first generation of Afghan refugees. His cousin aspired to be part of the second.
Last year, at least 50,000 Afghans fled to Europe and Australia, more than twice as many as the previous year, according to the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations. With U.S. and many other foreign visas nearly impossible to obtain, the majority of those refugees hired human smugglers. Even more left for Pakistan and Iran. One-third of the world’s refugees are Afghans, according to the United Nations.
The flight reflects a growing fear that security will worsen after NATO’s military withdrawal by the end of 2014, a date that has taken on near-apocalyptic symbolism in parts of the country. Afghan officials have launched a campaign to warn against illegal migration, distributing brochures nationwide that feature photos of capsized boats and drowning Afghans.
to babysit those who fear the Taliban. If Karzai and the Afghanistan military aren't strong enough (or willing enough) now to protect
Afghans from them, then Afghanistan will remain a backward nation ruled by the Taliban.