On the threshold of the one year anniversary of the fall of the government in Afghanistan, Hopima, carrying three hundred Afghans who had previously worked with the Spanish, arrived in Madrid from Islamabad, while the process of evacuating Afghans from neighboring countries has slowed down. It is said that thousands of Afghans are currently stuck in Pakistan hoping to reach Western countries and are living in difficult conditions.
Jose Manuel Albarez, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, welcomed the newly arrived Afghans after the landing of this plane at around 10:00 pm on Wednesday at Turgeon Ordoz Airport in Madrid.
Meanwhile, Albarez said at the airport that since the return of these Afghans to Afghanistan is not expected in the near future, the Spanish government intends to work on the settlement and integration of these Afghans. After that, Manuel Albarez wrote on his Twitter account that Spain has been able to transfer 3,900 of their Afghan colleagues to Spain in the past year.
Along with other Western countries, after the collapse of the regime in Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban group in that country, Spain also tried to expel Afghans who cooperated with the Spanish military and diplomats from Afghanistan. But due to the challenges faced by the evacuation process in Afghanistan, the country of Spain was able to help only nearly 2,000 of their Afghan colleagues to be transferred to Spain. These Afghans were mainly those who closely cooperated with the forces and the Spanish Embassy in Afghanistan during the two decades of NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, and after the fall of the government on August 15, they were in the crosshairs of the Taliban group’s revenge.
Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said after the departure of security guards at Kabul Airport in late August that “Madrid will not lose its interest in Afghan colleagues who remain in Afghanistan and want to be transferred to Spain.”
Also, the Spanish government has said that after the process of evacuating Afghans stopped at the end of 2021, hundreds of at-risk Afghans who managed to reach neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, have been transferred to Spain.
Afghans stuck in Pakistan
After the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans were forced to leave Afghanistan due to poverty and security threats and sought refuge in neighboring countries, including Pakistan, in order to be transferred to Western countries. Some of these Afghans raised a tent and protested several times in front of the National Media Center, near the Parliament and the United Nations Office, following the delay in their transfer to Western countries.
Meanwhile, dozens of journalists who took refuge in Pakistan after the Taliban came to power in Kabul, in a gathering on July 18 in Islamabad, asked Western countries to help them in the evacuation process.
It is also said that these Afghans are facing lack of shelter and food in Pakistan due to rising prices and unemployment.
Abdul Qayyum Shariati is a young man who went to Pakistan with his journalist wife and two children after the Taliban came to power to seek refuge in Western countries. But he still has an unknown fate and is worried about the hot weather in Pakistan and the lack of facilities and the high cost of living in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, reports were recently published in various media about Afghan immigrants in Pakistan, which showed that the police of that country arrest, imprison and deport Afghans without legal documents.
According to published news, on July 27, Pakistani forces arrested and imprisoned 250 Afghans, including a newlywed, in the Shirwani region of Balochistan. A little later, another news was published that 50 Afghan citizens were arrested and imprisoned by the Pakistani police on the way to Karachi for the crime of illegal travel.
It is said that nearly 3 million Afghan immigrants live in Pakistan, of which 1 million 400 thousand are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner. There are also reports that Pakistani police accompany dozens of Afghan migrants to the border between these two countries and send them back to Afghanistan.
After the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, mainly Afghans who had worked in the military and judicial sectors with the previous government tried to travel to neighboring countries in every possible way to save their lives. Most of them are now immigrants in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. But according to the reports published from these countries, hundreds of Afghans are returned to their country every day. But it is not known, what will be the fate of these Afghans, who mainly worked in the military and judicial sectors with the previous government, under the shadow of the Taliban government?