SAR-E-PUL (SW) – Afghans have long been opting for migration, however, the numbers of those fleeing their country due to security concerns and economic hardships have escalating to unprecedented levels recently.
Sayed Mohammad, a resident of Sar-i-Pul province, is one of thousands of young people who feared the deteriorating security situation in the province, especially in the district where he lived, forcing him to take the path of irregular migration despite all the threats and financial cost of the bitter journey.
Narrating the tale of his ordeal, Mohammad said that he wished to achieve physical and mental security by migrating with his family to a safe country.
He explained why he migrated: “Our only problem was the lack of security, the security was not properly maintained, the security agencies had less control. In the province where we lived, only the provincial center was in the hands of the government and the security forces otherwise rest of the province was in the hands of the armed insurgents.”
Talking to Salam Watandar, he acknowledged that the smugglers do lure many to choose this path to escape the threats, but the bitter ground realities also compel many to risk their lives and seek to flee out of the country via irregular routes.
He explained that he had to sell his home, appliances and other belongings to cover his travel expenses. Mohammad recalled they spent about two years in a refugee camps in Greece and from there went on to Italy and eventually to Germany after enduring unbearable pain and suffering.
Now living in Germany, Sayed Mohammad said he is still feeling unrest despite spending many years in Germany, and would likely to return to Afghanistan if peace talks yield positive result.
Ruhollah Sheikhzada, an adviser to the Migration Resource Center (MRC) said the success of peace talks can help bring security, welfare and reduce migration as well as help large numbers of asylum seekers return. He, however, warned if the peace talks come to a standstill, Afghanistan will witness another wave of migration.
Mortaza Rasouli, head of protection and legal affairs at the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, said in this regard that basic support is extended to refugees who return to the country voluntarily after registering with international organizations.
Migration from Afghanistan has recently increased due to insecurity. The phenomenon is not limited to small towns and remote villages, but major cities including capital Kabul have witnessed a number of families resorting to irregular migration due to insecurity.