'I am hiding here': Afghan refugees in Pakistan frustrated by lack of international support

© FRANCE 24 screengrab.

Afghan refugees who have fled the Taliban for Pakistan are becoming frustrated by the lack of international support. Trapped in limbo, they wonder if the rest of the world has already forgotten them. FRANCE 24 reports. 

As the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, more than 120,000 Afghans were evacuated by the United States through airlift.

France also evacuated nearly 2,500 Afghans in just over a week. These were the Afghans whose names were on the list of Quai d’Orsay (the French ministry of foreign affairs) because of their work with the French in Afghanistan.

This window of opportunity closed on August 30, when the last American soldier left Kabul airport. Since then, hundreds of Afghans who hope to seek asylum in France have been left stranded in Afghanistan. The luckiest managed to reach Pakistan via the land border. These refugees, who have lost everything, are still waiting in anguish for the French to take them in.

“Women journalists are even more vulnerable, they cannot work anymore.  There is no one to help them,” said a female Afghan journalist in Islamabad. “When they’ve spent all their savings, how will they manage? Men can always manage. But an independent woman, what can she do, where can she go?”

These refugees feel trapped in Islamabad, waiting for the world to recognise their plight.

“This is not my home, I am hiding here. I miss my old life very much,” a female Afghan poet in exile in Pakistan told FRANCE 24. “Getting up in the morning and going to work. I miss it.  We are stuck inside. I’ve locked my kids in the house while other kids are playing soccer right now outside.”

Click on the video above to watch the full FRANCE 24 report from Islamabad.

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