Afghan students in Karnataka give exams amid uncertainty

The students who came to India on self-financing, scholarships, especially girls, are really worried.

Bengaluru: In the wake of the collapse of Kabul to the Taliban, Afghan students in Karnataka are appearing for examinations with uncertainty about their home country due to the deteriorating security situation.

The students do not know what will happen to their dear ones in the near future and also worry that it might be the last call to their families.

The students who came to India on self-financing, scholarships, especially girls, are really worried.

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If everything was normal, the Afghan student community in Bengaluru would have focused on their academics as they are presently writing exams for graduation course, while some others are preparing for final semester exams.

 Talking to IANS, Abdul Shakor says although he was in contact with his people, he is mentally disturbed about the situation.

 “By seeing about what is happening in Afghanistan, it really affects us, our mindset, everything is uncertain, we are hoping for the best,” he said.

“We did not think the Taliban would take over the country so soon, there were predictions, and it was believed that they would take a few more months. They took it over in one week, as soon as the President left. Now, they will do unimaginable things.”

Shakor further said he had planned to return to Afghanistan once he completed graduation.

 But now, he will have to stay back for at least a couple of years. Aabroo, studying Business Administration in a reputed college in Bengaluru, says: “Our families are there (Afghanistan), don’t know what will happen. I spoke to my family just now because they are in the capital. What will happen there next I am not pretty sure. If the US Army leaves completely, they will start tortures, killings.”

 Aabroo’s family were originally based in Mazar-e-Sharif, but they had to flee to Kabul after the Taliban took over the city.

“They were planning to come to New Delhi. However, the flight services got cancelled. My family on the way to the airport saw horrible things done by the Taliban. “They (Taliban) do house by house searches, and if they find any soldier, government employee or anyone working for foreign companies they execute them. My Afghan friends, especially girls, are going through a very rough time,” she added.

Some of the parents of the students who defended cities before they fell to the Taliban, the insurgents will now come in search of them, according to Aabroo.

The mental trauma that these students are going through is tough to imagine. They have exams tomorrow, they can’t study or focus, some are getting to talk to their families and some don’t, some Afghan students said.

“The Taliban are damaging connections, electricity, we will not be able to focus on examinations. It is really bad and really sad. Due to Covid-19, the exams were postponed and they are happening now. For final semesters it is happening on August 28. Those who have gone on vacation to Afghanistan can’t come back. It’s totally devastating,” the students added.

 Another student, Abdul Fattah said that his family is okay for the time-being, but he does not know what will happen to them after a few days.

 “The President has left the country. I have exams on August 26, after that I will have to go back, they will not extend my visa, I can’t stay. In a few days they will open airports.”

Faramarz, another student from Afghanistan studying international relations said: “I just spoke to parents, I spoke to dad, they are fine. The Taliban has given a commitment not to harm civilians. Up to this point it has remained steadfast, in the future I don’t know. August 6 my exams have started. Today I also wrote exams, obviously what is happening in Afghanistan is really emotionally, mentally devastating.

 “I believe, someday this hardship of studying in these difficult times will pay off. Any day a government will have to be formed, I am not sure when. Taliban changed their policy of 1990’s on how they treated people. They issued a statement that they will allow boys and girls to go to schools. They will go back on their words as far as girls are concerned. For boys, the Taliban will decide what to study and which course to study.”

Thousands of students are studying in India, so going back to Afghanistan is not a possiblity, the government of India should allow students to work, give them job opportunities, according to Faramarz.

 “In 1996 when the Taliban had taken over Afghanistan, my parents migrated to Pakistan and later came back to Afghanistan. Now again they have taken over,” he added.

 (Real names have been concealed as per the request of the students)

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