Now that the evacuations by western countries have been completed, the situation in Kabul is getting worse by the day, says an Afghan doctor who wants to leave the country with his family.
The Taliban are increasing their presence around the Afghan capital, where fears of the new regime are growing. Meanwhile, people are fleeing to national borders and trying to get into neighbouring countries.
The Taliban have set up checkpoints around Kabul. They question anyone who wants to pass, and the doctor tells the ANP. He also learns that the Taliban are becoming increasingly violent in other provinces. “I live in even more fear than before,” said the Afghan. After the takeover, the Taliban promised that people were safe, but many residents do not believe this. After the first takeover in 1996, the Taliban made similar promises, but soon women were forced to stay at home, and people were beaten to the mosque during prayer time.
According to the doctor, Afghans also face money problems now that it is more challenging to reach banks. Fearing for his safety, he cannot leave his residence, and it becomes more difficult to support his family. He and other Afghans live under challenging circumstances and hope for outside help. Now that the Taliban have taken over the Kabul airport, many people are trying to cross the border by land. At a Pakistani border post, a crowd has been waiting for authorities to open the gate for some time.
The doctor hoped to be able to come to the Netherlands. He set up anatomical education in Afghanistan with the Afghan-Dutch Keihan Foundation after the fall of the Taliban regime, but such education is strictly prohibited under Taliban laws. In addition, his wife is a women’s rights activist. Ultimately, the doctor was not eligible for evacuation to the Netherlands.
The doctor is one of an estimated tens of thousands of vulnerable Afghans who had pinned their hopes on the major international evacuation operation of the past two weeks. More than 123,000 foreign nationals and Afghans were collected. Several European countries are now discussing a temporary presence in Kabul to pick up even more people. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan should be allowed to go to Germany.
The Afghan doctor hopes that he and people in similar situations will get help quickly. “The inaction of the international community will kill me and others.”