Our consulting editor Jessica Kroner brings exclusive images of Afghan refugees who crossed Pakistan through the Chaman border. Unfortunately, they were turned back by the Pakistani authorities citing lack of documents and their whereabouts are unknown since then. Humanitarian agencies across the world should take note of the crisis in making and develop a sustainable mechanism to prevent another refugee crisis.
The Taliban’s occupation of Afghanistan overthrew the elected democracy and installed itself in Kabul, drawing concerns from the international community . The Taliban already have a chequered Human Rights record during their past ruling phase as well as during their conflict with the successive elected regimes. The Taliban’s violence especially against women and ethnic minorities instilled a sense of fear that opened yet another chapter of the refugee crisis. We witnessed gruesome images of young men falling from the planes. The sight of women and children crossing into the Iranian and Pakistani border was deeply disturbing.
Among them, I got a chance to cover the plight of some families that fled Kunduz, a city in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban were stationed in Kandahar and Spin Boldak, preventing people from entering Pakistan through the Chaman crossing. Officially, the Pakistani military maintains that Afghan refugees cannot enter Pakistan without a visa. These families also had a large number of children, most of them being unwell. After several days of suffering, 50 families entered the Pakistani city of Chaman. At first, the families breathed a sense of relief as they were safe from the Taliban’s barbarism. These families were only left with dry bread for days. These families ultimately made it to uninhabited wastelands located on the outskirts of Quetta, bribing the Pakistani checkposts, and set up makeshift tents awaiting help from the Pakistani authorities in the spirit of humanitarian assistance. On the contrary, we found out that the Balochistan government arrested these families and deported them back to Afghanistan on the same day. Officially, the authorities maintain that Afghan refugees do not have visas.
Following their deportation, they have not been heard of so one cannot be sure about their fate at present. Through this article, I appeal to the UN whether it has taken note of the such inhumane treatment of the refugees? This is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Where are Humanitarian Aid International organizations?
The Taliban’s inhumane and violent actions in Afghanistan have created a humanitarian crisis, which still evades an honest discussion by the high offices of all international bodies. The silence of the United Nations in this dire situation is regrettable. The United Nations should instruct Afghanistan’s neighbors to to abide by international law and ensure dignity and safety for Afghan refugees.
All Images are owned by the author.