Former Afghan forces face uncertain future in Iran

A number of former Afghan security personnel, who fled to Iran following the collapse of Afghanistan’s former government, said that they are dealing with many challenges and a very uncertain future.

They stated that former Afghan forces gained nothing after 20 years of hard work and sacrifices after the Taliban takeover.

Currently, thousands of former Afghan forces along with their family members are living in limbo in various cities in Iran – and have done so for a year and a half.

Based on data, at least 3,000 former Afghan soldiers, including senior officers and members of special forces, who had been trained by the United States, fled to Iran either legally or illegally after the fall of the republic.

I wish my children could go to school

Mohammad Reza Sakhizada, former director of the criminal technical department of the Kunduz police headquarters, said: “In 2021, when the republic was on the verge of collapse and the war between us and the Taliban continued, my brother and son were killed, and then I was forced to illegally travel to Iran. The Iranian government, so far, has not created any problem for us.”

Sakhizada added that he lives with his wife and four children in a run-down house.

His biggest wish, he said, was that his children could get an education. He appealed to the international community to take note of the plight of former soldiers who have had to leave the country.

All our efforts were in vain

Meanwhile, a number of women, also former soldiers, who worked in Kunduz province for 20 years alongside foreign soldiers, also fled to Iran following the collapse of the republic government.

They stated that no matter how hard they have tried to be resettled in a safe country, the international community has not helped them.

Marzia, a former soldier, said she faces many problems as she deals with an uncertain future in Iran.

“I worked in the human rights department of the Kunduz police headquarters, where we performed duties together with the foreign forces of several countries, and we have documents as well. After serving for 20 years in my country, I am forced to live illegally in Iran. This is the result of my years of service,” she said.

The Taliban announced a “general amnesty” after they took control of Kabul in 2021. However, a large number of former Afghan forces were arrested, tortured, or brutally killed by Taliban fighters.

The former security forces have strongly criticized NATO and the international community for leaving them behind despite years of sacrifices.