Civil Society Activists Fear Afghan Exodus


Civil society activists fear that an increase of Afghans seeking asylum abroad will further cripple the country because those with the means and talent to help rebuild are more likely to leave.

Afghanistan is already facing a talent shortage evident in staff capacity in government agencies, civil society activist Abass Faraso said.

"We have a lack of staff as well as capacity in Afghanistan, so if Afghans seek asylum these problems will increase in state agencies," he told TOLOnews.

The Parliamentary Commission on International Affairs has previously confirmed that in the past eight years, presidential palace staff, diplomats, journalists, athletes and students have not returned to Afghanistan after making a visit abroad in their respective capacities.

Several government staff working in high positions are understood to be seeking asylum, Faraso claimed.

Afghans already make up a quarter of the world's refugees, according to statistics from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

"Even though we do not have a specific law on this matter, people who leave their work without prior notice will be fired and they cannot work in a government office for two years," Mohmmad Nadir Hotak, the appeals board director at the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission told TOLOnews.

The Global Consultancy Group STATT released a report this week surveying some 20,000 Afghans on their plans to stay in Afghanistan or leave ahead of the withdrawal of international forces in 2014.

The report warns that any protracted conflict caused by the power transition will likely cause "mass displacement" of people. Many people with the means to leave were already talking about doing so, STATT said.

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