Tens of thousands of Afghans have fled fighting between the Taliban and government forces.
Many Afghans are looking for a way out of their country under intensifying fighting against Taliban and government forces. The need to escape is reflected in congestion at the passport office.
According to the news agency AFP, dozens of people start to gather in front of the Kabul passport office most days before dawn, and by eight in the morning the queue is already winding over a hundred meters long.
In recent weeks, passports have been applied for very much. According to the police interviewed by AFP, about 10,000 people have visited every day, compared to about 2,000 normally in one day.
One of the queuers said 300 people had already gathered at the scene when he arrived in the passport queue at five in the morning with his wife and three children.
Slow-moving applicants in the queue carry transparent plastic folders with the documents needed to apply for a passport.
Sometimes the police have to hand out people who are trying to get past the queue with interests.
Many people waiting for a passport have no idea where they would go if they were given the opportunity to leave. It is also uncertain whether other countries would accept them.
Most countries require Afghans to go through a complicated process to obtain a visa. A visa requires a large number of documents, as well as proof of financial stability, which few have.
Still, people want to be ready to leave.
“Our lives are in danger and we have no choice,” said the 52-year-old, who is waiting for a passport Sardar, who did not want to tell his full name because he fears for his safety. She works as a translator for a British NGO.
Interpreters from foreign troops and embassies have been particularly vulnerable to Taliban retaliation, and many states have evacuated thousands of their translators and interpreters using emergency visa regimes.
Former official Haji Sayed Mohammad Sultani wants a passport but can’t imagine becoming a refugee again.
“As long as Afghanistan is viable, we will not leave our country,” he said.
Dozens thousands of Afghans have already fled fighting between the Taliban and government forces, according to AFP. The fighting has intensified since the last foreign troops withdrew after 20 years of occupation.
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Humanitarian organizations are warning of major crises in the coming months as the Taliban continue its large-scale attacks.
Government forces have given up some rural areas without fighting, but they are working to defend the provincial capitals, even as the rebels ’grip on the cities tightens.
Hundreds of thousands of Afghans have been displaced within the country this year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The agency warns that unless the fighting ends, the crisis could spread to Afghanistan’s neighbors.