A group of 294 Afghan nationals who worked as interpreters or in another capacity for Dutch organisations in Afghanistan have crossed the border into Pakistan to await transport to the Netherlands, broadcaster NOS has reported.
Most were on the Dutch evacuation list but were unable to make it to the airport in Kabul in time for the evacuation flights, NOS said.
One of those now in Pakistan is a man called Hayatullah whom the NOS has been in contact with for some time. He lost his passport at Kabul airport when he left his bag behind after going to fetch his pregnant wife.
‘I am so relieved that this has happened,’ he told NOS from Islamabad. ‘I should have flown to Qatar on February 10 but that flight did not happen. I was rung again and told that we had to get to the border with Pakistan, where we would be picked up.’
Hayatullah said he went through some 10 Taliban checkpoints to reach the border but said they had not searched his phone or asked questions because he was travelling with his wife and daughter.
There are still an estimated 1,100 people who were on the Dutch evacuation list in Afghanistan, NOS said. In addition several dozen people are in Pakistan but who are being refused onward travel to the Netherlands because they entered Pakistan illegally.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.
If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to,
you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.