Introduced and compiled By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor Simerg, Barakah and Simerg Photos
An advisory posted in English and Farsi on the official website of the Ismaili community on the latest situation in Afghanistan, says that there are very few civilian casualties involving members of the Jamat, and the majority of them are safe and continuing with normal life. The advisory notes that the Jamat has been advised to remain calm, and not give in to panicked reactions, and that Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is giving constant guidance and direction to the Jamati leadership in addressing the developments that are taking place in the country.
The advisory asks each family to remain in charge of their homes and dwellings wherever they are located. It also notes that Ismaili and AKDN institutions remain safe, and have not come under any undue pressures, and that in accordance with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s guidance, all our institutions continue to operate as normal.
In an earlier post, that will continue to be updated with reliable information as well as analysis from external non-Jamati sources, we referred to an article that appeared in the on-line edition of Coquitlam’s Tricity News in which Malik Malikzada had mentioned to the newspaper’s reporter, after having spoken to his cousin living in Kabul, that Ismailis in Afghanistan Were Asked to Stay Home and not Panic. That piece of news brought immense relief to us at Simerg as well as our readers from around the world, and we are now pleased to note the official institutional statement in this regard.
Al-Saha the communications newsletter of the UK Ismaili National Council has released the following statement in its latest issue (Please read official web version HERE):
“As the unfolding situation in Afghanistan continues to be of concern, the UK and Europe Helpline has been extended for any member of the Jamat that has any concerns or questions. If you live in the UK or Europe, please call the Helpline on 0208 191 0911, Option 2, or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. If you have any friends or family that live in Afghanistan who require help and support, please advise them to contact the Afghanistan National Council on +93793014401.
“The Jamat is advised to be vigilant about recent possibly fraudulent activity pertaining to the current crisis in Afghanistan. Please be cautious of fundraising campaigns claiming to support Afghans in need or other advertised services promising to speed immigration processes from Afghanistan. Some of these schemes may be fraudulent and illegal. The Jamati Institutions are working together to support the Jamat. Please direct contributions to FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance via the website ……. if you wish to support those who have been affected by crisis or displacement, including the Jamat in Afghanistan. Thank you for your continued support.”
We join Jamati members from around the world and pray for the safety and well-being of the Jamat in Afghanistan as well as the nation at large. We pray for a united Afghanistan in the days and months ahead.
Please read Comments Received and, if you wish, contribute your reflections, thoughts, insights and eye-witness accounts of the situation in Afghanistan. Names of contributors will be withheld on request, and Simerg and its sister websites never publish or reveal email addresses of individuals who provide feedback.
Date posted: August 20, 2021.
Last updated: August 21, 2021 (Afghanistan helpline section added).
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I am one of the Ismailis of Afghanistan. Exactly no violence has been used against the Ismailis so far, but that does not mean that people who have worked in government offices and organizations are safe. The subject of religion is separate, but there are issues such as unemployment and fear. I personally worked in one of the organizations. Due to security problems, the project was stopped. I had to emigrate to the center of Afghanistan with my family to find a new job, but unfortunately Kabul was also occupied by the Taliban. Unfortunately our future is not clear what will happen. Please pray for the people of Afghanistan to be saved from this crisis.
I am writing this to draw your attention on the ground realities in Afghanistan.
As you know that Kabul the capital of Afghanistan was captured by the Taliban militants last week; the previous government which was built thorough billions of dollars collapsed within one week. Most of young Jamati members who joined the military in post-Taliban era are considered as a potential enemy for the militants. The majority of Jamati members who worked with the public institutions or NGOS have lost their job. They face uncertainty, unemployment, starvation, drought and Covid-19-coronavirus. Not only the situation is dire and uncertain but the Jamat in Afghanistan are concerned about the future of their young generation, since no educational and employment opportunities are available, neither now nor in the future.
The majority of the Jamati members living in the cities had previously been reliant on the job provided by the NGOS, Western civil and military organizations which have fled the country. The people in the country do not see any future for themselves, rather they are waiting for the worst situation that may unfold.
However, we Afghan Ismailis are struggling with terror, fear, uncertainty and unemployment. The Jamati institution in Afghanistan including the National Council for Afghanistan portray an optimistic picture of the situation on the Jamat’s living conditions and safety. Their information and perception are based on the optimistic analysis of the situation, not on the ground realities. If the challenges and threats facing Jamats in Afghanistan is not addressed immediately, a humanitarian crisis and chaos may emerge in the future.
Best wishes for the peaceful future in Afghanistan 🇦🇫