There is an atmosphere of panic with the entry of the Taliban in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Thousands of people gathered at borders and airports to go to other countries to escape strict Taliban laws and punishments. Many people were seen running behind the military planes.
Meanwhile, while many western countries involved in the war in Afghanistan have spoken of giving refuge to the Afghans who help their army, India has also talked about providing shelter to the people trapped there and evacuating them safely.
According to a report of Amar Ujala countries other than India have come forward to help Afghan citizens and which countries have refused help. Most importantly, most countries that refused to accept the refugees have welcomed the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan or have expressed hope for further improvement in Kabul.
Which countries announced to accept Afghan refugees?’
The UK is the most recent name among the countries that have so far announced asylum for people leaving Afghanistan. According to a report in The Times, Britain plans to provide asylum to those fleeing the fear of Taliban rule through a scheme parallel to its refugee program.
It has been told that the British government will settle about 20 thousand Afghan refugees. Five thousand of these refugees will be resettled in the UK in the first year itself. Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel said that she will try to give as many shelters as possible to women and minorities fleeing Afghanistan.
Given the situation in Afghanistan, the US Department of Defense has set a target to settle thousands of refugees. According to local media, these refugees will be kept at military bases at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin and Fort Bliss in Texas.
It is believed that in the first phase itself, 30 thousand citizens of Afghanistan will be settled in America. Apart from this, about 4,000 applicants and their families who have not got security clearance in the US will be resettled in a third country after the US leaves Afghanistan.
In view of the current situation in Afghanistan, India had announced on Tuesday that it would issue an emergency ‘e-visa’ to Afghan nationals who wish to come here. All Afghan citizens of any religion can apply online for ‘e-emergency and other visas’ and their applications will be processed in New Delhi.
The announcement was made two days after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. According to news agency sources, a day earlier, PM Narendra Modi had also said in the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting that arrangements would be made to give shelter to the minorities trapped in Afghanistan in India.
Canada closed its embassy in Afghanistan on Sunday and has suspended all diplomatic relations with the Afghan government for the time being. However, Canada’s Justice Trudeau government had already announced the help of Afghan citizens, saying that they would give shelter to 20,000 people in the country.
These will include women leaders, people in government jobs, and civilians facing Taliban threats. Apart from this, human rights activists, minorities, and LGBT people will also be helped.
Albania has also come forward to give shelter to the migrants who have fled from Afghanistan. The government there has assured to take government officials and women leaders along with translators to help America. Let us tell you that Albania is already part of the NATO alliance. Its PM Idi Rama recently wrote that as a member of NATO, we are ready to bear our share.
Amidst all this, the one small country that has been at the forefront of helping refugees in Tajikistan. In July itself, the Tajik government had announced to give asylum to one lakh Afghan citizens in view of the situation in Afghanistan. Due to its proximity to Afghanistan, a large number of military officers have also sought asylum in Tajikistan.
Which countries are ready to offer temporary asylum?
North Macedonia announced on Tuesday that it would provide temporary asylum to the people of Afghanistan. At present, this country has been said to give asylum to 450 people, mostly journalists, translators, and students.
More than half of them are members of an American non-governmental organization called the National Democratic Institute (NDI) of America, which lived and worked in Afghanistan. For the time being, all refugees will be kept in hotels in North Macedonia and their care will be borne by the US and other international organizations.
According to the information, the US government is also in discussion with the Qatar government to give shelter to Afghan refugees. Qatar has been asked to keep people working with the US military safe. According to a CNN report, if this deal is signed, about 8,000 refugees could reach Doha, Qatar.
Uganda announced on Tuesday that it was considering accepting refugees from Afghanistan on the demand of the US. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said that he was ready to help in any way in the current crisis. At present, talks are going on on this matter.
Uganda is already the country with the largest refugee population in the world. According to the United Nations, there are currently 1.5 million refugees living in this country. Most of them are from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Which countries flatly refused to accept refugees?
The country which is being blamed the most for the current crisis in Afghanistan is Pakistan. Pakistan, which provided safe haven to Taliban fighters during the US military mission in Afghanistan, has now refused to accept civilians there as well.
Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said during a recent interview that he wants to, but at the moment he is not in a position to accept more refugees. Putting full responsibility on the United Nations, he said that the UN should come forward to help and help those seeking asylum by setting up camps on the borders of Afghanistan. Apart from this, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has also made similar statements.
At present, Turkey has the largest number of Afghan citizens living in it. The number of Afghan refugees here is about 1 lakh 20 thousand. Apart from this, 3.6 million Syrian citizens are also kept in Turkey. In view of these conditions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to accept more people coming from Afghanistan.
According to reports, Turkey is also building a wall on its Iran border, so that Afghan people can be stopped from coming. Meanwhile, he has also expressed a lot of hope for the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.
A Hungarian official recently criticized the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and said it would not accept refugees at any cost. Hungarian Foreign Ministry official Levante Magyar said the government would not allow Hungarians to pay the price for poor geographical decisions.
Hungary’s right-wing government has already been against taking immigrants and has built a wall to block refugees from West Asia and Africa.
Iran said on Sunday it was building temporary shelters in three provinces for refugees fleeing neighboring Afghanistan. However, Iran has made it clear that it has a limit beyond which it cannot accept refugees. It is believed that Shia-majority Iran wants better relations with the Taliban, which is advocating Sunni rule, keeping in mind its 900 km border with Afghanistan. That’s why he has given a strong statement on refugees.
Neighboring Uzbekistan is concerned about an influx of Afghan refugees. Afghan nationals who have applied for visas to Uzbekistan in recent months have reported that the Central Asian country is denying visas to Afghan nationals citing concerns over the coronavirus.
Experts say Uzbekistan’s authorities have been tightening security along the border with Afghanistan and fear extremists may enter the country and have given shelter to only a small number of refugees from the unstable neighboring country. Authorities in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have beefed up security along the border in recent months as the Taliban captured city after city in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh, which is located in India’s neighborhood, has made it clear that it cannot give asylum to Afghan citizens despite the US appeal. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abdul Momin has said that his country is already facing the problem of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and in such a situation it cannot accept Afghan citizens as refugees.
The US, through diplomatic liaison sources, had urged Bangladesh to give asylum to Afghan nationals. Bangladesh has already made it clear that it will support any government in Afghanistan that will be elected by the Afghan people.
What will be the future of Afghan refugees?
Afghanistan’s refugee problem can become a problem for the whole world in the coming times. The United Nations recently estimated that some 400,000 Afghans are already forced to flee their homes to live as displaced people due to fear of the Taliban. Most of them are still stuck in Afghanistan. Apart from this, during the US military mission, by the end of 2020, about 2.9 million Afghan civilians were forced to live as refugees at home.
About 2.5 million Afghans are said to have been forced to leave their homes since May, 80 percent of whom are women and children. At present, the United Nations Human Rights Organization (UNHCR) is providing accommodation and necessities for the refugees.
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