Afghan migrant laid to eternal rest with all aspirations

PUL-E-KHUMRI (SW) – With all his hopes and aspirations, Aziz Aagha; the young Afghan migrant from Baghlan province has been laid to eternal rest back in his home town after being shot dead by Iranian borders guards.

A number of residents of Baghlan joined the funeral prayers as friends and relatives were burying the body of Aziz Agha, the eldest son and breadwinner of a family of eight, here in one of the districts of the province.

Aziz Agha was 28 years old and a graduate of the Faculty of Education of Baghlan University. After graduating from university, he worked for two and a half years in the administrative department of the college.

But, unemployment eventually forced Aziz Agha to join four of his friends, all of whom had bachelor’s degrees, and embark on irregular migration. They wanted to cross from Iran to Turkey, but a few days ago, when they were trying to enter Iran from Nimroz province of Afghanistan, Aziz Agha was shot dead by Iranian border guards.

At the burial ceremony, relatives and friends of Agha offered prayers for him. “We were five people from Pul-e-Khumri who moved in coordination with the smugglers and reached Nimroz on the Iranian-Afghan border overnight,” said Yama, one of Aziz Agha’s companions, who was fortunate enough to have saved his life.

“The smuggler had gathered us all in groups, the weather was very hot and all of us walking were too tired, and when we were about to cross the border, we heard gunshots as we were crossing and wanted to escape”, he said, adding the migrants were in various rows, and Aziz Agha was in the front row when the bullets fired by the Iranian guards hit and killed him.

Yama told Salam Watandar that if jobs are provided for young people, they will never leave the country. He urged fellow young Afghans not to be deceived by traffickers and never to travel to other countries through risky areas via irregular means.

“My message to other young people is that they should not think of going to foreign countries through irregular means at all, they should accept living in their own country, big or small. Other than that, irregularly travelling to other countries is a game by smuggling that put 99% of human lives in danger and only another 1% can be lucky to pass through.”

Aziz Agha, who had a university degree and had honorably served as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Social Sciences in BU for two and a half years, was forced to leave his homeland due to raging violence and poverty.

Jan Agha, Aziz Agha’s father, who runs a shop in a corner of Pul-e-Khumri, says his son left the country because he was jobless. According to Jan Agha, his son had no other way to advance his life and build his future. “Aziz Agha told me several times that he should go abroad because there are many problems in our lives here and I should let him go abroad, but I tried to prevent him from leaving. He then asked me to provide money for his wedding, but I could not fulfill this request, so we eventually allowed him to travel”, he said.

Jan Agha now urges other families not to allow their children to travel to other countries without legal documents.

Ahmad Fawad Aria, an athlete who was a close friend of Aziz Agha, told Salam Watandar that the reason that made Aziz Agha travel outside the country was unemployment. According to Aria, if Baghlan University had worked with him for free for several years, or even hired him as an employee, he would have never decided to travel to Iran.

In addition to his work experience at Baghlan University, Aziz Agha was also impressive with sports and won several medals in local and national competitions.

Meanwhile, Sharifullah Shafaq, Baghlan’s director of migrants and returnees, said work was underway to provide employment opportunities for young people. He added that cash and medical treatments are provided to victims of irregular migration.

Although dozens of Afghan citizens leave the country every day due to unemployment and insecurity, and many of them face the fate of Aziz Agha, but the Afghan government has so far not taken effective steps to effectively prevent irregular migration.