Tuesday, July 5

Hundreds of people queue for passports in a desperate bid to get out of Afghanistan

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Despite the freezing cold, hundreds of Afghans have been waiting for hours in front of the Kabul passport office on Sunday, the day after the Taliban government announced that it is re-handing over the precious documents.

For most, the wait began at night. And at dawn, they continued to wait for patients, some in search of an option for a treatment impossible to obtain in Afghanistan, others to flee from the regime of the Islamists.

At the scene, visibly tense Taliban fighters deployed to maintain order dispersed the small groups gathered at the entrance.

“We don’t want a suicide attack or an explosion,” warned Ajmal Toofan, a 22-year-old Taliban fighter.

IS-K, the local branch of the Islamic State (IS) organization, killed more than 150 people in a similar attack in late August, when crowds gathered outside Kabul airport to try to flee the country.

“Our responsibility here is to protect,” added the soldier, his rifle pointed at the ground. “But people don’t cooperate.”

Pakistan

While explaining this, one of his colleagues pushed a man who fell to the ground near some barbed wire.

Mohamed Osman Akbari, 60, has to travel urgently to Pakistan to complete a heart operation that Afghan hospitals, lacking in everything, cannot perform.

Near him, people in serious health to wait in line, wait in ambulances. They have to be physically present for the passport to be issued, said Muslim Fakhri, 21, who drives one of the vehicles.

In his ambulance, a 43-year-old man remains lying down. “The patient has a heart problem,” he added.

Passport service

The passport service was closed shortly after the return to power of the Taliban in mid-August, which saw the fall of the previous regime, supported by the United States.

The office briefly reopened in October, but the flow of lawsuits caused technical problems, forcing the Taliban to halt deliveries after a few days.

On Saturday, the head of the Afghan passport service announced that the problems had been resolved and that the orders already placed would begin to be examined from Sunday.

Mursal Rasooli, 26, was very happy with the announcement. “The situation here is not calm,” he said, while protecting his two-year-old daughter from the cold.

“If the situation worsens, we will already have the passport,” he said.

Her husband is in Iran as he could not find a job in Kabul.

Now, their concerns are rampant inflation and a lack of jobs and education for women.

Taliban Goodwill Test

Handing over passports again – and authorizing Afghans to leave the country at a time when a serious humanitarian crisis looms, according to the UN – will be a test of the goodwill of the Taliban.

The Islamists demand that the international community unblock the funds to relaunch the economy and fight hunger.

Omid Naseer, in a leather jacket and a short beard, desperately wants to leave the country. Is a musician. For “months, since the Taliban came (to power), we have no work.” “Artists are the most vulnerable, but nobody cares,” he concluded.

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Reference-www.abc.es

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