Desperate Afghans Are Trapped in an American-Made Fiasco

People wait inside Afghanistan's only passport office in the Kabul neighbourhood of Pul-i Surkh to provide or receive documents required for the issuing of their documents. The applicants were tired, hot, frustrated, upset and angry as they waited in various spaces inside the large compound, through what they described as a chaotic process with little order. It was above 30 degrees by 9AM this morning and far hotter inside the airless, enclosed structures of the passport office. According to a passport official, as many as 5,000 passports are being issued on a daily basis at the moment, as Afghans from across the country, many fearing a country-wide return of the Taliban, travel to the capital to apply for passports in the hope of using them to travel outside the country. Since May 1, when U.S. and international military forces began their final withdrawal from the country after nearly 20 years at war, the Taliban have taken total control of more than 160 of the country's roughly 400 districts. Afghans who believe they have reason to fear the Taliban have left districts for provincial capitals and provincial capitals for Kabul, where the government maintains a shrinking area of control.

Afghan friends and colleagues began asking for help leaving the country in June. The requests were nothing new, but in the past they’d mostly been in jest. Now they were serious and urgent. The people who made them weren’t just seeking a better life but refuge.

Source: Desperate Afghans Are Trapped in an American-Made Fiasco