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UN warns of bigger refugee influx if Taliban govt. collapses

People from Afghanistan walk with their belongings as they cross into Pakistan at the 'Friendship Gate' crossing point, in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan, September 7, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Javed Rana
Press TV, Islamabad

This is one of major border crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan. For decades, on an average everyday tens of thousands of people have been making back and forth movements on both sides of 2700 kilometer long porous border. After the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan, many Afghans are using Pakistan as a transit rout to leave for Western destinations given 70 percent unemployment in the neighbouring country.

However, weeks before and after the Taliban’s takeover, the western media have reported such routine travelling of Afghan citizens as being fresh influx of refugees into Pakistan, something the visiting UN High Commissioner have now denied to be the case.

The UNHCR has reported nearly half million internally displaced Afghan citizens inside Afghanistan. Their houses were bombarded by the US and the former Afghan Air force during clashes with the Taliban in major urban centers like Kandhar, Herat and Kundus. Rest of Afghanistan largely fell to the Taliban after the US trained Afghan army, surrendered without any fighting.

Analysts point out that the real problem in Afghanistan is deteriorating economy as the Afghan financial system has been dependent at least 60 percent on foreign aid. With the change of guards in Kabul, the Western countries and the UN have partially resumed the financial assistance which is far less than what new Afghan government requires to stabilize the fragile economy.

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