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Afghan refugees in India reluctant to return

Afghan refugees in India reluctant to return

Dec 22, 2013 - 11:48

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Afghan refugees in New Delhi are unwilling to return to their homeland, fearing escalating violence after the 2014 withdrawal of foreign troops, a media report said on Sunday.

In the wake of the Soviet invasion in 1979, most of Afghan refugees thronged Lajpat Nagar -- an affluent locality of South Delhi. Many more shifted to India after the Talibaninfo-icon's rise to power.

India's Externalinfo-icon Affairs Ministry says there were more than 18,000 refugees in India as of 2011, with 10,000 of them registered with UNHCR.

The news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Sher Mohammad, 35, came to India from southern Ghazni province about a year ago due to threats from the Taliban, who abducted his younger son Amir (11).

He told PTI: "They let him go after I negotiated with them. We came to India immediately after the incident. They would have killed us all." He is is in no mood to return to his country. "If I return, they will not let us live. They will kill us..."

Assisted by his 15-year-old son Hamid, Mohammad runs a fast-food stall in Lajpat Nagar. Both his sons are enrolled in Don Bosco School in Alaknanda.

Hamid, who helps father make burgers and bread after returning school, said: "This is not a big business but it is ok. It feeds us. It is better than being maimed at the hands of Taliban."

An Afghan graduate from Kabul is also worried about the security situation. "The situation in Afghanistaninfo-icon is still bad. There is no sign of peace," said Sulaiman.

The 26-year-old added people feared that once NATOinfo-icon troops left, the Taliban would stage a comeback in Afghanistan. "This is not a safe time to return," he believed.

PAN Monitor/mud


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