NEW DELHI: Afghans expressed their sorrow about having no identiy and home, being forced to live a life as a refugee. “At a time we should carry our national flag and celebrate our 102nd Independence Day, we Afghans are carrying placards, running from one embassy to another crying for help and freedom. It is sad to see that despite hundred years of freedom, we have no identity, no home and are still living a life of refugees,” said Shahid Agah, tears rolling down his cheeks remembering the Independence day of his country which is under the control of the Taliban.
About 150 Afghan refugees staying in the national capital including women, children and the elderly gathered at a park near Jangpura Metro station on Wednesday remembering their Independence Day, which is August 19. They were planning to celebrate, but the Taliban capture of their country has shattered their plans and hopes of returning to their country. “We have lost whatever little hope we had of hoing back,” they said in unison, voice choking.
They did sing their national anthem, but with with moist eyes. “I was in the army before moving to India five years ago. The Taliban tried to kill me four times. I lost my leg in a blast. I somehow survived and moved to India with my wife and two children. My parents were killed. I am worried for my sibling in Kabul,” said the 50-year-old Agha.
Parveen, a student of Class XI, said: “Due to the terrorism created by Taliban, we had to move to India 10 years ago. My father said the country was not safe for women and children. He said girls of my age were kidnapped and killed by the Taliban.”
While many students were seen with placards reading “Stop targeting Afghanistan”, “Stop the systematic genocide in Afghanistan”, some others held posters which read, “No one leaves home unless home is not home anymore. UN Geneva, please help Afghan Refugees.”
Abdul Wahid, 50, who is living in Delhi for 14 years, said, “I moved after the Taliban killed my father and mother. In 2001, they said they would make us slaves on our Independence day. They did it. Our government, UNHCR and the world failed us. We are helpless.”
Many said they lost jobs due to lockdown and the financial help they were getting from relatives in Aghanistan also stopped after the Taliban advance. “I was working as a cook in a restaurant but lost my job in the lockdown as the restaurant closed. I was, somehow, surviving from the money I received from tenants living in my house in Kabul. But they left the city after the Taliban took over. Surviving in India is becoming difficult. UN should help us,” said Sheharzaad.
He is not the only one. “I am a trader. I bring dry fruits from Afghanistan for sale in India and trade water purifiers from India in Afghanistan. I could not go back due to the closure of airports. My wife and three-year-old daughter are stuck there. My daughter does not have a passport due to which they cannot come here. I am scared,” said Sayyad Milamdeer.