A group of Afghan citizens who had worked for American organisations and fled to Pakistan after the Taliban’s return to power held a protest rally in Islamabad on Sunday, demanding that the US government expedite the processing of their asylum applications.
The group said that their applications fall under the P1 and P2 categories of the US Refugee Admission Program (USRAP), and that their cases have not progressed after a year and a half of waiting.
“We are stuck in uncertainty. We have overstayed our Pakistani visa and fear being deported back to Afghanistan,” Baqir Ahmadi said. He complained that UNHCR had been unresponsive to their demands for assistance in resolving their residency status in Pakistan.
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He pleaded with the US government not to abandon those who worked for the US government and NGOs in Afghanistan.
The US evacuated tens of thousands of Afghans from Afghanistan during and after its withdrawal from the country in August 2021.
However, thousands were left behind, many of whom fled to third countries, including Pakistan, to have their resettlement applications processed.