Interview with the minister conducted by: Mona Bentzen ” Journalist, artist and human rights activist from Norway” By: Abdul Ghafoor Newly elected minister for refugees and repatriation Mr. Hussain Alami Balkhi opposes all deportations to Afghanistan, especially women and children. In an audio interview the Minister urges all the deporting countries to halt deportations to Afghanistan. The ministers says; situation in Afghanistan was getting better after 2011 that is why MOUs were signed with some European countries including Norway to return those Afghans back to Afghanistan who are coming from safe provinces and they are able to return back to their own provinces. In the MOU it was clearly stated that those refugees who are coming from dangerous provinces won’t be returned. It was also agreed in the MOU that women and children won’t be returned back to Afghanistan. The situation in Afghanistan has changed now. Most of those who are being returned are coming from the provinces that are very dangerous and those who are being returned can’t go back to their provinces. That is why we oppose deportations from Norway and all other European countries to Afghanistan. As a result we returned a woman and two of her children back to Norway last week. But, unfortunately later we heard that they were mistreated on the way back to Norway. Few days ago a family of 3 were deported to Afghanistan. Father, mother and a child. The family comes from Ghazni, one of the most dangerous provinces. I sent a letter to the Norwegian Embassy in Kabul explaining the situation of their province and requested them to return the family back to Norway. The family is currently staying and waiting in Jangalak ( Afghan returnee receiving center ) in Kabul until the Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian government agrees to return them back to Norway. Considering the current situation of Afghanistan we sent a letter through the foreign ministry to all those countries with whom the MOUs were signed to revise the MOUs and do not return anyone back to Afghanistan. whether they are single or with family, until we make new agreements. They shouldn’t deport anyone because we can’t take care of them here.
I have long term plans, but we have to wait until we can execute those plans. I am sure if there is opportunities in Afghanistan, the Afghans will return back to their country voluntarily. We have requested the deporting countries through letters not to deport anyone, because we can not take care of them here. Literally if they deport anyone back to Afghanistan we would not accept them in the airport and they will have to take them back. The reason behind doing this is that in the MOUs that were signed with receiving countries. It was clearly stated’ that only those will be returned back to Afghanistan whose provinces are safe and they are able to live in those provinces. But, most of the people who have been deported since now are from the provinces that are very dangerous to live in and it is impossible for the deportees to go and live in those provinces. I have already requested the Norwegian Embassy in Kabul to convince the authorities in Norway to return the family back who are currently living in Jangalak. Currently around 7 millions Afghans are living in exile. It is not sensible to say that all these people should be returned back to Kabul. Norwegian authorities argue that if the provinces that the deportees come from are dangerous. Then they can be returned back to Kabul, because Kabul is safe. There is no logic behind this kind of statements. It is not possible to re-settle 7 million returnees who are living in exile only in Kabul. Kabul does not have the capacity to take care of these many returnees. It will also be insensible to say that only those who have been returned from Norway should be re-settled in Kabul. It is clearly stated in the MOUs that they should be re-settled back to the provinces they have come from, not Kabul.