During the U.S. withdrawal, Canadian veterinarians pushed Afghan interpreters to quickly reach Canada
TORONTO-As US President Joe Biden announced that US troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan, the plight of Afghan interpreters who risked their lives with soldiers has regained the focus of attention.
More than 40,000 Canadian troops served in Afghanistan and were eventually withdrawn in 2014. Local interpreters in Afghanistan are a key factor in the presence of Canadians and other NATO soldiers in the Middle East, often riding on the front lines.
In 2009, a special immigration project for interpreters and their families was set up to assist about 800 former interpreters and their families to migrate to Canada. However, the program ended in 2011, leaving thousands of interpreters.
Some people continue to assist the United States and other NATO forces, but with the news of the U.S. withdrawal, Canadian veterans are running Step up and speed up the speed of more visa applications for the country.
The retired Lieutenant Colonel Mark Popov worked side by side with Afghan translators during deployment and said their role is crucial. Claims that they put their lives in danger of being attacked and killed by the Taliban.
“These interpreters are regarded by the Taliban as traitors to their country and betrayed foreigners. These interpreters are doing their best to ensure safety. [for the troops],” Popov told CTV National News.
Popov and other veterans who participated in the letter-writing campaign said that the time it takes to bring the interpreter to Canada is crucial, breaking the red tape that currently hinders the visa process.
“Why we can’t do this for people who have already taken huge risks for our country makes me confused… We have these people in our car, and our lives depend on them,” Popov said. “I would be happy to risk my life with any of these people again-we need to overcome bureaucracy… overcome paperwork… and make things happen.”
Although Biden announced last week that the U.S. is developing an evacuation plan for interpreters waiting for U.S. entry visas, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Bagram Air Force Base this week has increased the pressure for interpreters to evacuate. Many people worry that the entire family will be affected. influences. Target and be killed.
Dave Morrow, a retired captain who also advocated for change, told CTV News Critical situation.
“It’s a matter of life and death,” Moreau said. “It’s only a matter of time before the Taliban catch up with these interpreters. That’s why there is a panic button moment.”
Canada’s NATO allies, including France and Germany, have completed their withdrawal from the country, leaving Canadian veterans questioning the long waits of others.
“Why are they waiting? They let the Canadian soldiers live. This is how we repay them with courtesy?” Retired Cpl. Robin Ricards told CTV News.
In an e-mailed statement, a spokesperson for the Office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship told CTV News that the government “recognizes the significant contribution of the brave Afghans for us in Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan.”
The statement reiterated that under the special immigration measures from 2009 to 2011 and the revised version of the plan started in 2012, more than 800 Afghan nationals, including their families, were resettled in Canada.
The statement read: “Afghanis who do not meet the conditions under the special immigration measures in Afghanistan can apply for immigration to Canada in accordance with the existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee and Protection Act,” adding that those who do not meet the criteria can apply for humanitarian and compassionate Consider the factors and evaluate according to the specific situation.
The statement read: “We are closely monitoring the changing security situation in Afghanistan.”
For Popov and other Canadian veterans participating in the campaign, this answer is not satisfactory.
Popov said: “They are facing incredible risks, and their families share all the difficulties with us.” “You may not find soldiers who don’t want to bring them here.”
“We need to do things for the people we do right.”