58 Afghans who crossed the border with Pakistan by land may soon come to the Netherlands. Thats what the State Department reports. The Afghans were on the list of the Netherlands to be evacuated when the Taliban took over power, but were unable to reach the airport.
There is an urgent advice from the Netherlands not to use the overland flight route, as it is too dangerous. However, the Netherlands has guided Afghans by email and telephone during their flight and helped them cross the border, by consulting with the Pakistani authorities.
The Afghans are now in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Half of them will be leaving for the Netherlands by plane soon. They have taken a negative corona test by now. The other half leaves at a later date. The Dutch embassy is investigating the possibilities to do so. In the meantime, the group is being taken care of in Islamabad.
Cooks, Drivers and Fixers
In August, 370 Afghans were evacuated from Kabul who were under the Belhaj motion. The motion called on the cabinet to bring not only interpreters, embassy staff and their family members to the Netherlands, but a wider group of Afghans who worked with the Netherlands. These include guards, cooks, drivers, employees of Dutch development projects and fixers, journalists.
In September, some 50 Afghans were taken off the evacuation list in Islamabad, before they came to the Netherlands. Some of them had also made the landtrip from Afghanistan to Pakistan. More information will follow soon in a letter to the Chamber, says the Ministry.
The Red Cross unsuccessfully offered help to the State Department at the end of August, after the airlift with Afghanistan had fallen away. The offer included setting up helplines and providing psychosocial assistance to those who are left behind, writes de Volkskrant.
The ministry says it has its own people for psychosocial assistance for its staff, including local staff at the embassy in Kabul. Several MPs want clarification from the minister.