FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): Following their illegal journey to Iran due to poverty and hunger, some youth and children in western Ghor province advise others not to opt for unlawful travel to the neighbouring country.
Despite the fact that tens of illegal Afghans are forcibly sent back to their country daily, young people continue to migrate to Iran before proceeding to other destinations.
Enayatullah (not a real name) is 12-year-old. He was sent back from the boarder last week along with his uncle. 21 years old.
Enayatullah told Pajhwok Afghan News being the only breadwinner for his family he was forced to migrate to Iran due to poverty.
“My father has died and I have to work to feed my sisters, brothers and mother,” he said, adding travelled on foot for hours along with his uncle to reach Iran.
On the way, they suffered a lot of difficulties. He said after the fall of the previous government, his uncle decided that they would migrate to Iran for work.
They did reach Iran, but not before experiencing excruciating things. After sometime, however, they were caught by police and sent back to Afghanistan.
During his stay in Iran, he recalled, nobody was willing to offer him work due to nonage. He was humiliated all too often.
He complained against the harsh and humiliated treatment of Iranian police and said on their way to return they were beaten by Iranian border security personnel and were forced to carry out hard and difficult work in one of Iranian military base.
Enayatullah said: “When we were brought to Sang-i-Safid Station. Iranian police beat us with electric sticks; they forced us into washing their clothes. After two weeks my uncle gave them money and they freed us.”
He explained if not given assistance and jobs, they would have no option but to migrate again to Iran to eke out a living.
Abdul Momin Majeedi, Enayatullah’s uncle, said they had spent eight days and nights on the border between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
He was trying to protect his small niece and remain in touch with other migrants during their journey. “We suffered humiliation, torture and a host of problems.”
Other youth, who tried to go to Iran illegally, were also sent back. They have painful stories to share with peers and compatriots.
Abdul Qudus, 28, is another young man who travelled to Iran because of poverty and lawlessness at home. He was also sent back after physical and mental torture.
“The Iranians have no mercy. While were sending us back to Afghanistan, they opened fire on us, injuring a number of deportees. We really had a bad time there. How long will we leave our country? It is so difficult.”
He and other youth deported from Iran, advised other Afghans not to opt for illegal immigration — a highly risky proposition. But still tens of youth leave for Iran and other destinations.
Officials in Ghor said the individuals sent back by Iran were issued International Organisation for Migration (IOM) cards and they were provided with assistance.
Acting Information Director Maulvi Mohammad Hamas said efforts were being made to prevent illegal immigration of youth by providing them work opportunities.
He said youth recently sent back by Iranian officials were provided assistance by some NGOs.