Eurasianet says that of ten Afghan families living in a newish 10-story residential building in Roudaki, a suburb of Dushanbe, seven say they fled Afghanistan for their daughters’ sakes.  

Eurasianet says that according to a source at the Afghan Embassy, which is reportedly still manned by representatives of the deposed government, about 7,000 Afghan refugees were registered in the country this spring.

Last week the first official figure on refugees was released, suggesting the population has grown. On October 14, the head of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS), Saimumin Yatimov, told a meeting of security service chiefs in Moscow that 15,000 Afghan refugees have entered Tajikistan.

Dushanbe has reportedly been ringing the alarm about the refugees’ impact overall.  In his comments to colleagues in Moscow, Tajik SCNS chief linked the recent deluge to a rise in drugs and weapons smuggling.

Every day hundreds more try to enter the country, he said, calling the situation a threat to the whole post-Soviet region.

Since summer, Dushanbe has tried to seal the border, allowing a trickle of women and children to cross but unwilling to host large numbers, according to Eurasianet

Eurasianet says Afghan refugees able to navigate a web of red tape see Tajikistan has a potential springboard.  Here they can apply for asylum in Canada or the United States.

The Interior Ministry, which processes refugee applications, reportedly declined to discuss the process.

But Afghan refugees explain how the application for refugee status works.  First, they must pay a year’s rent up front; a comfortable if sparsely furnished two-room flat is 1,000 somonis ($88) per month – a significant hurdle for many Afghans.  Only then they can apply for a residence permit from the local district administration.  And with that document, signed and stamped, they can apply to the Interior Ministry for refugee status.  The status forbids them from working at all and living in the capital.