7 months after Kabul’s fall, Canada has yet to bring in 30,000 Afghans | CBC News

Greater than 100 former Afghan interpreters gathered on the Centennial Flame in Ottawa at this time, beginning a starvation strike to mark the seven-month anniversary of the final NATO troops leaving Kabul, and demanding the Canadian authorities choose up the tempo in bringing over family members nonetheless caught in Afghanistan or neighbouring international locations.

“My household, my brother, his spouse, their children, they’re hiding, as a result of the Taliban are nonetheless in search of these folks, like a search operation, or you’ll be able to say like a revenge operation [against those who worked with Western forces],” stated Naqubullah Muhammad Nasim.

The previous interpreter stated he’s solely capable of talk along with his spouse, who continues to be in hiding in Afghanistan, sporadically each couple of weeks, as she modifies areas and telephone numbers to remain off the Taliban’s radar. 

Nasim nonetheless has ache in his face and leg after being ambushed and shot in Kandahar in July 2009.

He was attacked one night after his shift was over, after he hopped into his automobile to drive dwelling. He stated the Taliban shot him in his leg and face, and he swerved uncontrolled, ramming into one other car.

The ten,000th Afghan to land in Canada for the reason that Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021 arrived at Pearson Worldwide Airport in Toronto on March 30. ( Keith Burgess/CBC Information)

He was left for useless by his assailants, and solely saved because of the efforts of civilians who obtained him to a hospital. 

“Assist us,” he informed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on Parliament Hill on Thursday, saying some interpreters are so determined to see their households once more that they may be able to fly again to Afghanistan — even when it means surrendering to the Taliban. 

Pleading with authorities

An airplane carrying round 300 Afghans from Dushanbe Worldwide Airport in Tajikistan arrived in Toronto yesterday night, carrying the ten,000th Afghan to land in Canada for the reason that fall of Kabul final summer season.

The federal authorities has promised to usher in 4 instances that quantity. 

Ghulam Faizi, one other former Afghan interpreter, stated some members of his household are caught in Afghanistan, whereas his brother and 7 others have made it to Pakistan, however no farther.

“[My brother] informed me, ‘Do you actually belief the Canadian authorities who promised you [they’d bring me over]?’ And I had no reply for that,” Faizi stated. 

Faizi got here to Canada in October 2011, however stated transferring his prolonged household right here turned a precedence after the Taliban’s takeover.

He pleaded with the federal authorities to assist evacuate folks earlier than they’re killed by the Taliban. 

CBC Information has spoken to 3 households presently caught in Islamabad, every dwelling in cramped quarters with no paperwork permitting them to freely flow into in Pakistan. They say their purposes seem like stalled with the Canadian embassy.

Mohammad Nasimy and his household are seen in a resort room in Islamabad, the place they’re ready for his or her paperwork to be cleared to depart Pakistan. (Mohammad Nasimy)

CBC has additionally seen file numbers for 35 completely different candidates and inquired with the embassy about them. Consular officers have but to offer particulars on these information. 

One applicant, Mohammed Nasimy, who used to assist detect bombs for Canadian Armed Forces, confirmed CBC correspondence wherein he alerted the embassy he’s working out of cash and can’t present meals for his new child child. 

“Your file continues to endure lively processing,” the emailed reply to him stated, additionally noting, “the federal government of Canada doesn’t assure, facilitate or guarantee any consumer of the approval or authorization of onward journey to Canada or entry into Canada till and until all core assessments have been accomplished and handed on their software.”

Nasimy known as the response “heartbreaking.” 

Canada has settled 10,000 Afghan refugees

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser admitted there may be important work forward for many who aren’t right here but, together with the family members of Afghan interpreters caught overseas. 

“We have been in contact with these households since earlier than my appointment to this portfolio, and we’ll keep in contact with them,” Fraser informed CBC.

“With Pakistan, we do see that there are some challenges with potential exit controls. We’ve to have conversations concerning the challenges of people that might have been given a standing for a selected period of time, however are frightened they could not have a spot to go.” 

WATCH | 1000’s of Afghans are nonetheless ready to get into Canada: 

1000’s of Afghans await refuge in Canada

1000’s of Afghans are nonetheless ready for visas to return to Canada, months after the federal government promised to take 40,000 refugees after the Taliban takeover. To date, solely 7,000 refugees have arrived in Canada. 2:01

In the meantime, NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan has her personal suggestion.

“Deliver these relations right here, and if all of the documentation will not be accomplished, [security checks] aren’t executed, they will do it whereas they’re safely in Canada, and to guarantee that all of that work and the entire checks are executed,” she stated, referring to the immigration division.

“If they do not, and in the event that they proceed with this path, folks will die.” 

The federal authorities waived some security-check necessities for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, comparable to fingerprint or retinal scans, together with for anybody 18 and over 60.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says there may be important work forward to get Afghan refugees to Canada. Many, together with the households of Afghan interpreters, are nonetheless caught overseas. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

However Fraser stated he can’t unilaterally make that decision for Afghans.

“We depend on the recommendation of consultants who perceive the best way to develop a safety screening course of that can facilitate the journey of individuals we wish to deliver to Canada with out compromising safety pursuits,” he stated. 

The minister stated doing in any other case would problem the religion Canadians have within the present immigration system. 

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