By March of 1981, the political situation in Afghanistan deteriorates to a point where "you (can't) trust anyone in Kabul anymore...people (tell) on each other", and dead bodies regularly turn up at the side of the road. Baba makes arrangements for himself and Amir to flee to Pakistan.
As they are being smuggled with a small group of people to Jalalabad, the truck in which Baba and Amir are riding is stopped by Russian soldiers. One soldier lewdly demands that he be allowed "a half-hour" with the wife of one of the refugees as "his price for letting (them) pass". Baba heroically stands up to the soldier, risking death to save the woman's honor. Amir, whose propensity for motion-sickness has already caused his father to be ashamed, is further reminded of his own inadequacies in the face of Baba's dramatic display of fearlessness.
The refugees are forced to hide in a dank basement in Jalalabad for over a week with another group, among which Amir recognizes Kamal, one of the boys who was present at the rape of Hassan. Ironically, Kamal himself has been victimized by group of hooligans in lawless Kabul, and is now catatonic. The refugees must make the last leg of their journey in the belly of a fuel tanker. By the time they arrive in Pakistan, Kamal has succumbed to the fumes, and his distraught father grabs a gun and shoots himself (Chapter 10).