By Hasnain Kazim | Spiegel Online | The situation in Afghanistan is becoming so precarious that Afghan diplomats no longer want to return to their homeland. Up to 100 foreign service employees set for rotation back to Kabul from assignments abroad have now defected.
A total of 105 Afghan diplomats were meant to report for duty at the Foreign Ministry in Kabul on Saturday. They were being rotated out of their foreign postings as scheduled, and it was time to return to headquarters. Yet just five of them have resurfaced. The others have apparently remained in the countries where they had been posted, among them several employees of the Afghan Embassy in Berlin.
Sources at the Afghan Foreign Ministry have informed SPIEGEL ONLINE that embassy staff members have said they would apply for asylum in their respective host countries or at least apply for an extension of their service until the presidential election in spring 2014. "They are hoping that there is more clarity about the future of our country by that point," said an employee of the ministry. "I feel as though there has been an exodus. No one wants to return to Afghanistan," said the employee, who added that they couldn't be faulted for wanting to stay away from"the situation in the country."According to recent surveys, most Afghans believe the country will sink into chaos and violence and expect that civil war will break out once Western forces withdraw at the end of 2014. For months, the Taliban and various other ethnic groups have been arming themselves in preparation for a fight for power in the country.