Editorial: Bring Nepalis home from Afghanistan

Afghanistan is near-totally captured by the Taliban militants. Many countries in the world are evacuating their citizens. What is the government of Nepal waiting for?

Image by Amber Clay from Pixabay

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

As reports of violence and terror are coming out from Afghanistan, after the American troops pulled out from the war-torn nation, Nepalis at home are holding their breaths, worried and terrified about the safety of the fellow Nepalis working and living there.

It is imperative the Nepal government do the needful to ensure that every Nepali citizen in Afghanistan is brought back home safely as soon as possible—and not a single one of them suffers any kind of violence.

As things stand, Afghanistan has become a new battlefield—this time of the Taliban—who have been running a rampage of violence, human rights violations, and extrajudicial killings. There seems to be a total chaos in the country, with life guaranteed only at the mercy of the Taliban.

As many as 1500 Nepalis are said to be in Afghanistan at the moment, according to a BBC report. But the actual numbers could be much higher, given that thousands of Nepalis are trafficked to Afghanistan. We don’t know about their real situation there—maybe they have been made captive, maybe they have been forced into some form of violence and servitude. For there is no government presence there. The American troops have left the country, and the European countries are taking their citizens back home. Some countries are closing their embassies.

At this hour of horror and complete uncertainty, the government of Nepal has done nothing but become a meek spectator of the chaos unfolding in Afghanistan. Does it have no care about its citizens—those who went to work in that dangerous country to eke out a living for themselves and their families back home?

It is worth recalling that, back in 2016, as many as 14 Nepali security guards were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul. In order to avert possible untoward incidents like in 2016, the government must initiate a speedy evacuation process.

As a matter of fact, the initiative to bring Nepalis back home should have started last month itself, right after the American troops started to leave for home. There was a palpable sense of doom back then and security experts had already warned of possible law and order breakdown. Back then Nepal was mired in political chaos; KP Sharma Oli’s government had almost fallen apart and the new government was yet to be formed. Nobody paid attention toward the fate of the Nepalis in that war-torn country.

It is worth recalling that, back in 2016, as many as 14 Nepali security guards were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul. In order to avert possible untoward incidents like in 2016, the government must initiate a speedy evacuation process.

Currently over one thousand Nepalis are reported to have been stranded in various parts of Afghanistan as the Taliban insurgents have captured major cities and are storming Kabul. The government should take immediate measures—any measure that works, sending a chartered plane to Kabul, for example—to bring Nepalis back home to their families. The government should reassure them that it cares about their lives. Time is running out. The government must act before the situation spirals out of control.

It is the responsibility of a government to ensure that its citizens, whether within the country or outside, are safe. By now, it has already been late to evacuate Nepali nationals from Afghanistan. It is getting late for Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to take a proactive action to bring back Nepalis from Afghanistan—a country that has now become a gory battlefield with no regard for human rights and humanity.

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