Amid the United States announcement withdrawing half of its troops from Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s neighbours have started to prepare for a risk which they believed the US troop’s pullout would allow hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee across their border. Diplomats have made fear of refugee crisis comment over US troop’s withdrawal.
According to news reports, diplomats from Afghanistan’s neighbours (country), who always has been in talks with the US officials and diplomats in Kabul, said they need and were reassessing the policies and would now ramp up the border preparations.
A senior Asian diplomat based in Kabul said, “At this point there is no clarity about the withdrawal, but we have to keep a clear action plan ready.” Diplomat further said, “The situation can turn from bad to worse very quickly.”
Last week, a White House spokesperson said the US President Donald Trump had not yet issues any orders to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan to the Pentagon. But, however the Trump’s administration did not denied the reports of withdrawing 2,000 US troops from Afghanistan.
A consultant for the International Crisis Group Graeme Smith said: “While the news of a potential U.S. drawdown may be a reason for cautious optimism in the region, they don’t want an abrupt withdrawal.”
Smith said: “All sides recognize that a precipitous pullout could spark a new civil war that destabilizes the region. The neighbours do not enjoy surprises, and the uncertain signals from Washington are causing anxiety.”
At the Resolute Support mission headquarters in Kabul, the U.S. commander of Afghanistan’s NATO-led force General Scott Mille said 2019 would be an interesting year. The top US general said: “The policy review is going on in multiple capitals, peace talks out there, regional players pressing for peace, the Taliban talking about peace, the Afghan government talking about peace.”
According to reports, Afghanistan said to prepare for the risk of Afghan refugees and illegal migrants. Afghanistan’s official said: “Camps will be set up near the border to manage a fresh wave of Afghan refugees and illegal migrants and Afghans will not be allowed to set up illegal homes in Pakistan.”
According to the UN high commissioner for refugees, Afghanistan, who shares its borders with China, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is the world’s second largest source of refugees.
According to International Organization for Migration (IOM), it has estimated that around 1.4 million Afghan refugees lives in Pakistan and approximately 1.2 million lives in Iran.
An Iranian official said: “We are working closely with the Afghan government to stop Afghans from entering our country. We don’t want to use violence to stop them, but a sudden U.S. pullout will lead to a crisis.”
The second secretary at the Turkish embassy in Kabul, Mehmet Ozgur Sak said, “We have not closed our door but the number of illegal migrants is increasing on a daily basis.”
A student in western Herat province Sayed Rafi Sadat said: “If U.S. troops withdraw then there is no hope for the future and we will have to leave the country.”