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Risking life and limb in search of elusive destinations

Risking life and limb in search of elusive destinations

Mar 28, 2016 - 17:36

CHARIKARinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Nearly 150 people from two areas of Charikar, the capital of northern Parwan province, recently left for Europe illegally. More than half of them have been missing on their way to dream destinations.

Findings of Pajhwok Afghan News show the 150 people, including womeninfo-icon and children, left for Europe from Yaban Payan and Toghbardi neighbourhoods over the past one year. The total population of the area is nearly 3000 families.

An elder of Yaban Payan area, Asadullah, said 40 families and some individual, numbering about 150, had left the villages, but 85 of them were yet to reach Europe.

His 23 years old son was among five youngsters who embarked on the risky tripe six months ago through Iran and Turkey. But for the past four months, the man has no information about their well being.

A tearful Asadullah said youth left the country due to joblessness, lack of attention from the government and insecurity.

A teacher from the village, Ghulam Haidar, 50, said his 22 years old son left the county eight months ago. But the young man’s fate remains uncertain.

He had borrowed 400,000 afghanis to send him to Europe for seeking work, the teacher said. Since the 12thgrader could not find any job in the country, he was allowed to go abroad in search of work.

“When I hear about the plight of Afghan refugees in foreign countries, I’m reminded of my son and can’t properly sleep due to concern about his safety,” he said, asking the government to provide jobs to youth.

Mohammad Mustafa, 10, said his father Humayoon left the country six months ago, but he was yet to reach Europe. Humayoon’s companions have already made it to Switzerland. “My father would always encourage me to study and purchase books and pens for me. I miss him a lot.”

Abdul Basir, 50, a resident of Toghbardi, said: “My sons, 18 and 22 years old, left home six months ago. First they went to Iran, where they earnedsome money before they were taken to Turkey by human traffickers.

“But for the past 10 days, I have no idea where they are,” Basir said, adding: “My spouse has been concern about her children and cries at night instead of sleeping.”

Another resident of the area, Syed Agha, said his son had left home four months ago and reached Germany after an immensely painful journey. He wished his son success in finding work in Germany to support his family.

Some of the 30 youth of his area had gone missing on their way to Europe, said a resident of Zariba village of Jabalus Saraj district, Sher Shah Rasuli, 22. Human smugglers are paid $5,000 by each illegal immigrant.

“Many youth don’t go abroad of their own volition, but they are forced by economic problems to leave the country.  There are some who have been engaged for four years, but could not marry because of high dowry demands. As a result, they leave for Europe to earn money for their marriage,” he explained.

According to the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, nearly 4,000 asylum seekers drowned in rivers.At least 20 percent of illegal Afghans migrants drowned in the past one year.

Joblessness and economic problems are the main reasons for Afghans going to other countries, acknowledged Director of Refugees and Repatriation Sherin Aqa Khalil.

The national unity government had been trying to resolve the economic problems by creating work opportunities for the people, he explained.

Information from the ministry shows more than 250,000 Afghans asylum seekers went to Europe in 2015. But several Western countries have hinted at rejecting asylum applications from 40 percent of Afghans.



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