Thursday, January 27

The rector of the private University of Kabul threatened by the Taliban requests asylum in Spain

Hiding with his family in Islamabad waiting for the Spanish Embassy to respond to his visa application to be able to travel and request political asylum. The rector of Kabul’s Gharjistan University, Naser Ali Rahmani, is currently under threat of death from the Taliban regime, which seized control of the Pakistani capital on August 15 and now accuses him of “creating an environment free of religion and give the opportunity to commit sin “in the most important private institution of higher education in the city.

The Taliban government accuses the University run by Naser Ali Rahmani of “being an atheist and promoting prostitution,” according to the British channel BBC. In a letter, the radicals warn this rector: “His duty was to remember all the principles of religion, which is based on the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice and sin. You have failed in your obligation towards God and towards We have therefore decided to intervene. The only solution for the teachers and yourself to be saved is to deliver 3,000 kalasnikovs to our veterans. If we do not receive them, all your lives will fall on their shoulders. ”

Naser Ali Rahmani addressed the Spanish Embassy in Islamabad a few weeks ago, without having received a response so far. The Foreign Ministry confirms that they have thousands of requests and that they are overwhelmed. Meanwhile, this expert in International Relations, hiding with his family of eight members, including his son Ehsan Rahmani, who is a journalist and is also threatened, regrets that his “permission to be in Pakistan expires soon.” “We need to get out of here. We are in as much danger as we are in Afghanistan, because this neighboring country is full of Taliban.”

The Conference of Rectors of Universities (CRUE), has been launched by the hand of the vice-rector of the Open University of Catalonia, Pastora Martínez Samper to support the request of his counterpart at the University of Gharjistán.

The family fled Kabul on August 17, two days after the Taliban took the Afghan capital. “We fled hastily, along a dangerous and difficult route. Death and arrest threats kept coming to my father and me. We went to Kandahar scared because we knew there were many checkpoints along the way and they could identify us,” says his son Ehsan Rahmani, 23, a policy writer at Raj-e Farda Television.

The young man, who has deleted all the information on his mobile phone as a precaution, says that they made that trip dressed in local clothes and that they pretended to be farmers in “a total of six searches, with the corresponding interrogations.” Once in Kandahar, they hired a smuggler, for 10,000 Pakistani rupees – about 50 euros – each, to accompany them to Pakistan. Upon reaching the border, the Taliban began beating a large group of people to keep them from crossing, in a pitched battle that, according to their account, lasted about four hours.

“We had lost everything”

“When we saw that we could cross the border of Spin Boldak we held the whole family by the hand making a circle and putting the baby with his mother in the center and we started running towards Pakistani territory. When we finally stopped we suddenly realized that We had lost everything: home, work, car. Everything. The lives of eight people had disappeared, “Ehsan continues on WhatsApp.

Rector Naser Alí remembers how his driver would pick him up at home at eight in the morning to go to the University. “I had a normal life of meetings, classes, conferences and, little by little, over time bombs and shots began to sound and without realizing it we ran into some Taliban who wanted to storm the city. With their entry everything changed. We all thought that the towns and small cities of Afghanistan would fall into the hands of the enemy but we never thought that it would happen with Kabul. Never, “he states emphatically.

“Later, the traffickers, who had promised to take us to the city of Quetta, deviated from the road and took us to an abandoned house in front of a cemetery. We were very scared but they just wanted more money,” Ehsan continues. From Quetta they managed to reach Islamabad, the capital of the country with the most inhabitants per square meter in the world, where they are now trying to leave the country.

A mass exodus of academics

A month before leaving Afghanistan, the rector publicly stated that of the two thousand students who were waiting in September, only about 200 had applied to the University. After these statements, the threats began: “We said that we would not accept the niqab – veil for him. face, which leaves the eyes clear – because it is too difficult to impose it. Our students wear a headscarf. We also told them that it was not written in the Qur’an, “Ali Rahmani said. “In addition, many students are unable to pay tuition at private universities due to the economic crisis caused by the freezing of billions of dollars in international aid,” he continues.

Pakistan shares 2,670 kilometers of border with Afghanistan. According to Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, a total of 22,400 people have left Afghanistan so far through this country, a much higher number according to data from journalists covering the conflict and NGOs working on the ground. . At the end of August, around 120,000 people were evacuated from Kabul, most of them Afghans collaborating with other countries and their families, whose lives were in danger. Some of them are in Spain.

“Since the arrival of the Taliban to power, there has been a massive exodus of academics. Many of them fear for their lives for having collaborated with the Americans,” says Naser Ali Rahmani before the phone conversation was cut off for the umpteenth time. “There are more than three million internally displaced people in Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands have mobilized in recent days. They need immediate help,” said Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recently. This same agency estimates that half a million Afghans could try to leave by the end of 2021.