Afghanistan tops worldwide asylum seekers list

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Kabul, Nov 28 (ANI): Afghanistan has been named as the world's top country for asylum seekers, ahead of Iraq and Somalia, according to statistics compiled by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.ccording to the Washington Post, the number of Afghans seeking political asylum in some other countries has risen dramatically in the past two years.

Last year, 27,057 Afghans sought asylum in foreign nations. Although the pace is down this year, the overall trend could be a troubling indicator as the United States seeks to return Afghanistan to stability.

The paper quoted immigration officials as saying that a majority of refugees are young men in their teens, 20s and 30s, often well educated and with the financial means to pay over 20,000 dollars to human smugglers for passports and visas to Pakistan or Iran, then on to Europe, Australia, Canada or the United States.

According to human rights activists, most of them are fleeing the country because of their growing impatience with the war. They don't have faith in the U.S. and NATO forces prevailing against the Taliban.

"What's driving this sharp increase is an uncertainty among the population about the future. As the discussions about troop withdrawal become much more serious, this is a question of survival. They don't see the current fragility in this government allowing it to make a smooth transition to prevent the Taliban from coming back," Ahmad Nader Nadery, a commissioner at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said.

The increase in Afghan refugees has prompted foreign governments to implement stricter immigration controls. In Australia, where 2,705 Afghans have applied for asylum this year, officials froze all Afghan cases for six months before lifting the ban in October. Less than a third of the Afghan applicants in Australia have been granted asylum protection this year, the paper said. (ANI)

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