Video duration 50 minutes 38 seconds
An episode (10/1/2022) of the “For the rest of the story” program dealt with the issue of human smuggling networks in Afghanistan and reviewed the stories of people who fell victim to these networks that are active in smuggling across the Afghan borders with Pakistan and Iran.
The episode tracked people wishing to leave Afghanistan to Europe, passing through Iran and then Turkey, where dozens of smugglers’ cars – working within these networks – carry about 20 people per car, and people wishing to leave Afghanistan are gathered in a large garage from which cars depart towards Pakistan.
The Taliban movement controls the garage, which charges about 10 dollars for each car, provided that the payment document is shown before leaving, but the Deputy Minister of Refugees and Returns in the Afghan Interim Government denied the Taliban’s control of the garage, let alone imposing some fees, stressing at the same time that the government rejects bribery and corruption and warns that accountability will be held. Dealers do so in accordance with the law.
I accompanied “the rest of the story” a human smuggler, who works as a driver and confirms from his experience that unemployment is the main reason behind the flight of young people from Afghanistan, and about the nature of his work, he explained that smuggling to Pakistan takes place in 3 stages, where he brings those with him to the crossing with Pakistan and there he takes care of them another person, and then transferred to a third person after crossing the border.
He adds that he also works to deliver migrants to the border with Iran, but this port has another price, stressing that it is the most dangerous because the border has a cement wall that the immigration applicant must climb before reaching Iran, and they are often exposed to fire by the Iranian border guards.
According to an outcome obtained by “For the rest of the story”, the number of deaths during the past three months, as a result of shooting by Iranian border guards, amounted to about 18 immigrants, specifically in the border province of Zaranj, where smugglers are spread and everyone deals with the Iranian Toman as an official currency, and the hospitality sector is active in receiving immigrants who are waiting Departure hour.
Ex-soldiers of the Afghan army make up most of the migrants in this place, and many of them were returned to Afghanistan after they tried to emigrate.
On the Afghan-Pakistani border, “For the rest of the story,” he met a smuggler who refused to reveal his identity. He stated that after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, the smuggling trade flourished, explaining that the network in which he worked had a wide relationship as it had contact with senior leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey.
He added that the influential in these countries are the ones who pave the way for them, even if the borders are closed, but the winter season is difficult for the migrants, as many of them die because of the snow and the freezing cold.
On the other hand, Zabihullah Mujahid, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information in the Interim Government, accused the United States of creating terror in Afghanistan after its withdrawal and sending planes to transport some Afghans to America and Europe, which prompted many Afghans to search for any way to emigrate, in addition to poverty and unemployment caused by mismanagement. the previous government.
The representative of the Afghan government at the United Nations, Sohail Shaheen, also rejected the accusations against some members of the (interim) government of working in facilitating or participating in smuggling, stressing that the migration did not occur because of their control over Afghanistan, but rather it is from the past and part of a policy of deliberately impoverishing the Afghan people.
He explained that the sanctions imposed on Afghanistan exacerbate the situation and push many Afghans to emigrate, as well as exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Shaheen stressed that the Taliban are working to normalize the situation and impose security, which will stop those networks, noting that the (interim) government is working with neighboring countries to combat smuggling networks.