OTTAWA — Former Afghan interpreters now living in Canada are pleading for the federal government to help extended family members still stuck in Afghanistan.
The former interpreters, who were among about 800 Afghans resettled under two different programs between 2008 and 2012, say their previous work with Canada has left their parents and siblings back home at risk of Taliban reprisals.
The Liberal government announced last month that it will be expediting the resettlement of possibly thousands of Afghans who worked with Canada as interpreters, cultural advisers and support staff since 2001, as well as their families.
But some of those who previously came to Canada say that while their work with the Canadian military and embassy put their extended families at risk, the government has been opaque about whether those relatives are eligible.
The pleas for help are growing in intensity as the Taliban continues to capture large swaths of territory following the sudden withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in recent weeks.
A number of former interpreters are planning a rally on Parliament Hill on Tuesday to draw attention to their cause, and to pressure the government into helping their family members as well.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2021.
The Canadian Press