I left Afghanistan in 2012. I paid around 5000 Pakistani rupees (2015 equivalent is roughly $65) for a smuggler. I crossed the Afghanistan border at Spin Boldak to enter Pakistan land. I arrived to Quetta, Pakistan and I stayed at my relatives’ home. It was my first time to meet them.
During the day I went out of home and I spent my time in the masjid (mosque). I didn’t know any places to go and I was afraid to go anywhere. I didn’t have travel documents or a passport. I was in Hazara town in Quetta for eight days. I met a lot of Hazara people in Quetta. They were from Afghanistan, mostly from Ghazni province. They stayed in hotels and they tried to leave Pakistan because the situation of Pakistan was bad for Hazara people. Some try to speak with smugglers to go Australia and some try to go Iran: both are ways of danger.
My relative spoke with a smuggler and after eight days I left Quetta by bus for Karachi. I felt afraid because it was danger way for Hazara people. The smuggler gave me ID card: it was a copy. I can’t speak Pakistani language. At 6pm, the bus was full and left for Karachi. In the bus I met another Hazara man who lived in Pakistan. He was sitting in front of me. When the bus stopped for dinner, all the people left the bus but I just went to the toilet and then I came back to the bus. I was afraid someone will ask for my documents. The bus was stopped by police at a check point and police came on the bus and asked for documents. I pretended to be asleep until the police left the bus. I arrived to Karachi around 5am.
I took a jinkirsha (rickshaw) to the Green City Hotel, according to the smuggler’s plan. I took a bedroom in the hotel. I was two weeks in the hotel. I met many Hazara in the hotel. They are all waited for going to Indonesia and then Australia. One day I got sick. The chicken baryani was very spicy and the meat wasn’t chicken: it was crow meat.
I found a friend, a Hazara boy called Hussion. We would go for walks and eat food outside of the hotel. Hussion spoke with anther smuggler and he said wait. After 13 days I got a call from a smuggler who told me to be ready for tomorrow night. He told me to buy a suit and a suitcase. The next evening I got a call from the smuggler to come to the Alsadat Hotel.
When I arrived there, the smuggler left the hotel and a man took my documents. His name was Tahir. He could speak Pakistani language. Another man was Agha. Tahir was our group leader. Every group was three person. We took a taxi to the airport. When we arrived at the airport, Tahir spoke with the smuggler. We waited for the flight in the restaurant. We ate burgers then we went to the waiting hall. An officer stopped our group. Everyone was afraid. Tahir called the smuggler who said that the officer works with him. He said don’t worry. After some minutes many Hazara men come and all stopped in one place. The officer counted 36 people. The officer stamped our passports to exit Pakistan and gave us our boarding passes.
* All interviews have been edited and names and details have been altered to protect identities.