Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes due to increased Taliban activity in northern Afghanistan. About 50 such helpless families are living in a makeshift camp built on a rock in Mazar-i-Sharif, located in the northern part of the country. They live in plastic tents in the scorching heat, where the mercury reaches 44 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.
According to the government's Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, more than 56,000 families, most of them from the northern part of the country, have been forced to leave their homes in the past 15 days due to increased Taliban activities.
There is not a single tree around the temporary camp built at Mazar-i-Sharif and there is only one toilet for the entire camp. It's a dirty little tent, which smells bad. At Camp Istiklal, family after family told of heavy-handed tactics by Taliban commanders who have captured their towns and villages.
Most of these people belong to the ethnic minority community 'Hazara'. These actions of the Taliban have raised questions in the context of its promise in which it has said that it will not repeat its harsh regime of the past.
People running away including children leaving home overnight
Sakina, 11 or 12 years old, who lives in the refugee camp, said the Taliban had captured the village of Abdulgan in her Balkh province. He left home with his family after the Taliban destroyed the local school.
Sakina told that in the middle of the night her family ran away from the village after picking up the belongings. Sakina, who dreams of becoming an engineer, hears many voices in the camp. She says I think maybe the Taliban have come here too. I am very scared.
US commander relinquished command
General Austin Scott Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan, announced his resignation at a ceremony Monday after serving the longest military partnership of nearly two decades. He has transferred his job to the head of the US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie. He has taken this step at a time when the Taliban is occupying here.
Refugees to be confined to Afghan camps only: Pakistan
Concerned over the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan, Federal Minister of Pakistan Fawad Chaudhry has said that the Imran government will not allow Afghan refugees to enter the country's cities. He said the refugees would be confined to the camps. Chaudhry said that even if the Afghans sought asylum, they would not be given any help in this regard except in camps.