Muhammad Asif, 30, an Afghan national left his country and fled to Pakistan following the fall of Kabul earlier in August last year. He is currently living in Mattani area of Peshawar.
Since Mr Asif has arrived in Pakistan illegally and also lacks a passport; therefore, he could not receive Covid-19 vaccination, which is now worrying him.
He told TNN that he came to Pakistan, some three months ago. “I lost my job after the fall of Kabul and then decided to come to Pakistan,” he said. He said that he paid someone Rs 20,000 to enter Pakistan via Spin Boldak. Mr Asif said that he was working at a restaurant.
“I do not have a passport and without which one cannot get the Covid-19 vaccination,” he said. Though there were no restrictions on unvaccinated people; however, Mr Asif demanded that they should be provided with refugee cards so they can receive the Covid-19 vaccination.
On the other hand, those refugees already living in Pakistan can get the Covid-19 vaccination on their proof of registration cards. Besides, those legally visiting also receive Covid-19 vaccination after entering into Pakistan. However, people like Asif who have entered Pakistan illegally have no way of getting their jabs.
On the other hand, Shazia Bibi who came to Pakistan on her passport is also struggling to get the vaccine. She had received her first dose in Afghanistan; however, could not get the second jab after coming to Pakistan due to her ignorance about the procedures.
She said that they were having issues getting Covid-19 vaccine in Pakistan. Ms Shazia said that they were told that getting the vaccine on a POR card was possible and since she lacked such a card, therefore, could not receive the vaccine.
She added that they have heard about vaccination on a POR card and will try to get her dose now.
Adeel Khan, another Afghan who came to Pakistan after the fall of Kabul has received his Covid-19 doses.
He said that was on vacation from his work in Saudi Arabia when the Kabul fell to Kabul, leaving him stranded. However, he instead came to Pakistan fearing cancellation of his visa in case of going from Afghanistan.
Mr Khan said that he got his Covid-19 vaccine jab from Pakistan and scheduled to fly to Saudi Arabia in a couple of days.
On the other hand, observers believe that these new refugees were facing many problems; however, they can get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19. “Therefore, they should complete their documentation to be able to receive their Covid-19 vaccination.