Eighteen heartbroken young Afghans returned to their home country this week against their wishes simply because the country they chose for themselves does not want to host them and life in their own country remains as miserable as it was when they left it years ago.
Disgust, disappointment and dejection was evident on the faces of these young men deported by Germany as part of a deal with the Afghan government that would see thousands more of them forget about dreaming a bright future in Europe, and fly back to a country where thousands of civilian die every year due to the ragging violence.
Among such deported Afghans include a man who lost his wife and a young son to a bomb blast in front of the Afghan parliament few weeks back.
All the politics, different notions and arguments in favor and against the forced deportation aside, but we have a situation on our hands that needs practical measures more than anything else to set things straight both in the host countries as well as the countries of the origin of these desperate asylum seekers. The world around us has certainly changed in the past few years, but wasn’t it always changing, so why make it an excuse for extreme measures?
In the case of Afghanistan, we need to acknowledge the country is in turmoil not simply because of its internal problems but because literally all extremist elements of the world have gathered here and have made lives for the Afghans and others hell. This means there is an obligation for all to help it. The international community has done a lot in the past decade and a half to bring some sort of peace and stability to this war-ravaged country. These efforts need to be complemented with genuine youth empowerment and [agro] economic measures to hold the exodus of youth in the first step.
Aid and development communities need to come out of the bubble of pseudo civil society organizations in the limited urban centers of Afghanistan and [provided there is security] reach out to the core of Afghan population in the rural parts of the country, and help improve their lives so that no youngster embark on the dangerous journey to the west.