While the Taliban complete the process of taking over Afghanistan, many lawmakers from the country are turning to India to take refuge. Some big political names from Afghanistan have already landed in India since Friday.
Even as Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and his aides fled to Tajikistan, other countries have opened their borders to Afghan citizens who are fleeing violence and conflict. The tide of the takeover by the Taliban has meant that India, often regarded as a safe refuge of learning, education and health for Afghans, is also housing political refugees from the country now.
At the time of writing of this article, Taliban forces have already overrun most Afghan cities, including the capital, Kabul, with firing being reported near the city’s airport as well.
Some big political names that have landed in India since Friday include Wahidullah Kaleemzai, MP from Wardak; Abdul Aziz Hakimi, MP from Parwan; MP Abdul Qadir Zazai; Senator Malem Lala Gul; Jamil Karzai, former MP and second cousin to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Baghlan MP Shukria Esakhail; Mohamamd Khan, Senator Engineer; Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, former finance minister; Mohammad Sharif Sharifi, brother of former Vice-President Younus Qanooni; MP Mariam Solaimankhail; Qais Mowafaq, Senior Advisor to Afghanistan’s Upper House.
The people-to-people relationship between Afghanistan and India has been strong for centuries, however, a Taliban operating at the behest of Pakistan and ISI could pose a concern not just for India but also for geopolitical stability as a whole.
Iran, Qatar, Albania come forward
While Afghanistan’s eastern neighbour Pakistan is providing military and logistical support to the Taliban, as claimed by international agencies, on the country’s western border, Iran is allowing refugees to come in. The latter has set up camps in three provinces along the Afghanistan border to provide temporary refuge to the fleeing Afghans.
Albania and Qatar are in negotiations with the US to house Afghan political refugees and even Canada has committed to taking in 20,000 refugees.
Since the start of 2021, more than half a million people have fled their homes due to the conflict in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The organisation has also said that about 1,26,000 people have been displaced since July until August 9.