Afghan refugees who have fled the Taliban into Pakistan are frustrated by the lack of international support. Trapped in limbo, they wonder if the rest of the world has already forgotten them.
When the Taliban seized Kabul on August 15, the United States evacuated more than 120,000 Afghans by airlift.
France also evacuated nearly 2,500 Afghans in just over a week. These were the Afghans whose names were on the Quai d’Orsay (the French ministry of foreign affairs) list because of their work with the French in Afghanistan.
This window of opportunity closed on August 30, when the last American soldier left the Kabul airport. Since then, hundreds of Afghans hoping to seek asylum in France have been stranded in Afghanistan. The luckiest ones made it to Pakistan through the land border. These refugees, who have lost everything, are still anxiously waiting for the French to take them in.
“Women journalists are even more vulnerable, they can no longer work. There is no one to help them,” said an Afghan journalist in Islamabad. “When they have spent all their savings, how will they cope? Men can always cope. But an independent woman, what can she do, where can she go?”
These refugees feel trapped in Islamabad, waiting for the world to acknowledge their plight.
“This is not my home, I am hiding here. I miss my previous life very much,” an Afghan poet exiled in Pakistan told FRANCE 24. “Getting up in the morning and going to work. I miss it. We are trapped inside. I have locked my kids in the house while other kids are playing soccer right now outside.”