NewsWorldAfghanistan activist recounts clandestine crossing to Pakistan

Afghanistan activist recounts clandestine crossing to Pakistan


Published on : Modified :

Since the Taliban arrived in Kabul on August 15, 2021, thousands of Afghans have tried to leave the country, by land or air. The Observers editorial staff spoke with a women’s rights activist who, fearing retaliation from the Taliban, decided to use the help of a smuggler to leave Afghanistan illegally. She recounts her journey through dozens of Taliban checkpoints.

Since the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15, 2021, tens of thousands of Afghans have fled the country. Foreign powers are trying to evacuate their nationals, as well as Afghan personnel who have worked for foreign embassies and armed forces, but chaos at the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport makes access difficult. Afghan activists with no direct connection to foreign powers, who have worked in NGOs for the defense of human rights, democracy and women’s rights, find it even more difficult to leave.

The Taliban have set up checkpoints on roads in Kabul and across the country, as well as at border posts. Witnesses say the Taliban are checking the names of people who pass by to find activists or people who have worked with foreign governments. United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said, on August 20, 2021, that “the vast majority of Afghans are unable to leave the country through regular channels”.

The Taliban have tightened the noose around journalists and activists considered a threat by the Islamist group. According to witnesses, they have already started conducting targeted searches to find people on their priority target list.

>> Read on the Observers website: “I knew they would come and get us”: Afghan activists hunted down by the Taliban

“I managed to find a smuggler with the help of my friends”

Nahid * is an Afghan women’s rights activist who lived in Kabul. She has received several threats from the Taliban in recent years. She tried to leave the country with her children as soon as she learned that the Islamist group had surrounded the capital.

The first thing I did when I heard that the Taliban had occupied Kabul [le 15 août] was to go to the market to buy a chador [grand voile couvrant la tête et le corps et laissant apparaître le visage, NDLR] because I knew that it would now be impossible to move around without it. I knew that everything the Taliban was going to say about keeping people safe was a lie: I knew I had to save my life and protect my children.

I managed to find a smuggler with the help of my friends. He told me I should go to Kandahar [à 500 km de Kaboul, NDLR] by my own means, and then had to pay 10,000 afghanis per person [environ 100 euros, NDLR]. The price is usually between 10,000 and 17,000 afghanis per person [entre 100 et 170 euros].

The banks were closed, so we couldn’t withdraw money. We left with what little we had in our pockets. Most people, like us, had no money. Many Afghan refugees are in the same situation and have nothing, they just live in mosques and depend on the generosity of local people.

These photos posted to Twitter on August 24, 2021 show a crowd of people lining up outside a bank in Kabul to try to withdraw money.

Every time I checked, I was in a panic “

On the road to Kandahar, we passed dozens of Taliban checkpoints. Every time I checked, I was in a panic, seeing the beards and the AK-47s. They treated travelers like savages, opening and searching their suitcases at midnight. All the way, I did not take off my chador, for fear of the Taliban. I was afraid that all of a sudden they would point their finger at me and say, “Get out of the car!”. I had no papers with me and had reset my cell phone so they couldn’t find any information about me.

These photos of a checkpoint in Kandahar were posted on Twitter on August 21, 2021 by the Taliban’s Urdu Twitter account.

When we got to Kandahar, the smuggler came to get us. He had contacts among the Taliban, so we were able to pass through the checkpoints without raising suspicion or being checked by the fighters.

The border post was packed with people – it was as if all the people of Afghanistan were here. I saw families separated at the border, children who had lost their parents. In the first days after the arrival of the Taliban, the borders were not as tightly controlled as they are today. The smuggler gave us identity cards so that the Pakistani border guards would let us enter their territory. We had not eaten or drunk in a day, it was hot, it was hell on earth.

Several days after the Taliban arrived in Kabul, Pakistani authorities have strengthened controls at the border post in Torkhan, according to them to prevent the passage of militants dressed as civilians.

The Taliban have taken control of important border posts since July 2021. Several thousand Afghans nevertheless managed to cross the border with Pakistan shortly after August 15, 2021.

Everything we had worked for for 20 years has gone up in smoke. We have spent our lives trying to build a good country for our children to live in, all for nothing. Now I am safer in Pakistan which is why I have decided to speak openly about what happened to me and what is happening to my compatriots under the Taliban. But I can’t stay here. On the one hand, because I am here illegally and the Pakistani state is doing nothing to support us. On the other hand, because it’s dangerous: there have been several terrorist attacks here too [les Taliban pakistanais, un groupe pakistanais lié aux Taliban d’Afghanistan, est actif dans la ville où vit actuellement Nahid, NDLR]. I need to go somewhere where my children can move around freely without fear, where they can continue to go to school and find a job. The international community must help us.

About 1.4 million Afghan refugees fled to neighboring Pakistan in 2020, according to UNHCR. The United Nations Refugee Agency asked states on August 17, 2021 to stop deportations to Afghanistan refugees whose asylum applications have been refused.

* The first name has been changed.


  1. Download Andrew Rayel – Find Your Harmony Radioshow #239 (DJ Mix) Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Coffee Table Jazz – Happiness Follows Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Aris San – Greek, Spanish & Italian Songs (with Alex Weiss’ Band) Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Ferman – İsyanim Var Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Yıldıray Gürgen – Payitaht Abdülhamit (Original Tv Series Soundtrack Album, Vol.2) Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Kaleidoskop – C a m H a N a I c H – EP Album Mp3 Zip
    Download City Without a Name – Between the Bridges – EP Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Pablo Read – La Biblia Según Vox Dei Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Ashes to Ember – Introducing the End – EP Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Hayden McNulty – St. Charles Place Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Offbeat Sorority – Slow Ambient Beat – Introducing Experimental Type Beats for Deep Relaxation Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Synth Essential – Millennial Generation Music – Avant Garde Ambient Album Mp3 Zip
    Download The Graveyard Scavengers – Sugar Shack Dance Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Olho de Boi – O Amuleto do Rock Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Veer Manpreet Singh – Salok Mahala 9 Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Fokental – Rautsby Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Suspended – Erased Minds Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Kayenne Hardi – Fae Fae – EP Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Trixie – Passion Friends Tecno Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Argxs – Channel Blue Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Ali Badd – Sonhos E Vicios Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Vários Artistas – 70s Super Hits – Vintage Soul Disco Music Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Ismuki – Secret Crush Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Silvertronic – Error 404 Queer Hop Album Mp3 Zip
    Download Paris Lounge Jazz Cafe – Notes From a Calm Place Album Mp3 Zip

Comments are closed.

Latest news

Here are the hashtags that the crypto community likes

According to a recent report by Santiment analysts on posts and tweets related to the crypto community, The Sandbox...

Dance, the first National Choreographic Center was born in Reggio Emilia

The National Dance Foundation / Aterballetto becomes the first - and only - National Choreographic Center. The new...

Tragedy in Tuluá prison, Valle del Cauca: fire in a Colombian prison leaves at least 49 dead and 30 injured

(CNN Spanish) -- A fire inside a prison in Colombia has so far left 49 dead and 30 injured,...

War in Ukraine LIVE: The Kremlin will stop its offensive when Ukraine “capitulates”… – 20 Minutes

7:20 am: Less efficient dronesCommercial or military, powerful or small, Ukrainian drones have imposed themselves in the war against...

You won’t see her in the news like this: Zlatica published a photo in a swimsuit – TV Markíza

The main news presenter Zlatica Švajdová Puškárová is relaxing by the sea before the start of the holidays. ...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you