Taliban ban on Afghans traveling abroad sparks row

New Delhi: The decision to impose restrictions by the Afghan government on its citizens traveling abroad has drawn strong reactions from policymakers and social media users.

While some users slammed the move calling it “hostage-taking,” a number of politicians feared it would negatively impact Kabul’s relations with the rest of the world, Tolo news reported.

Talking about the apathetic nature of the government, Milad Arian, a graduate student, said: “When the government decides that its citizens should not go abroad, it should provide job opportunities for the youth”.

“The international community will not keep silent about it and will show a strong reaction to this,” Ishaq Gailani, leader of the Afghanistan Solidarity Movement, said.

Najim, a resident of Kabul, who has worked with the NATO forces in Afghanistan between 2009-2012, is officially allowed to travel to the US along with his family members. However, the new policy of the Islamic Emirate to ban Afghan citizens from traveling abroad has perturbed him.

“Those who have legal documents should be allowed to travel. But we, who have the documents, will even not be allowed to go now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate said that after receiving reports of challenges of the Afghan refugees in the UAE and Qatar, they imposed travel restrictions, Tolo news reported.

“If the Afghans are not sure what will happen to them outside, we will close it (for now); I reminded you that more than 50,000 Afghans are in a bad situation in Doha camps,” Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, said.

According to Tolo, the US had evacuated more than 1,20,000 people from Afghanistan during an airlift in August last year. But as per an estimate by Washington DC, over 60,000 former US colleagues in Afghanistan, who have applied for special immigration programmes, still remain in the country.

Allowing foreign nationals and Afghans, who helped the international forces to leave, was a commitment of the Islamic Emirate to the international community. However, now it is to be seen, how the international community reacts to the halt of this process. (IANS)

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: pipanews.com)

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