Canada plans to take in more than 20,000 vulnerable Afghans, including women leaders, human rights activists and journalists, to protect them from the retaliation of the extremist Islamist Taliban movement.
According to MTI, this complements the initiative to relocate thousands of Afghan interpreters, embassy staff and their families to the North American country, and to work with the Canadian government, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino explained Ottawa’s ideas.
“With the Taliban gaining more and more territory in Afghanistan, the lives of more and more Afghans are at increasing risk,” the ministry chief said, though he did not announce a timetable for resettlement.
He stressed, however, that the new Canadian ideas would focus on particularly vulnerable social groups, including
Women leaders, human rights activists, journalists, members of persecuted religious minorities, and homosexuals.
He added that the program does not only apply to those currently in Afghanistan, but also includes those who have fled to neighboring countries.
We know the situation is frustrating. In addition, things will get worse by the hour,” the Immigration Minister said.
The United Nations has already sounded the alarm about the situation in Afghanistan. Thousands of people are fleeing the gains of the fundamentalist Islamic Taliban, and hundreds of families are living in Kabul in makeshift camps. We’ve written more about this here.
Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sagan, without giving details, reported that Canadian Special Forces were involved in the resettlement in Afghanistan. As he said, they face great challenges.
In the past eight days, the Taliban have already occupied nearly half of the Afghan provincial headquarters. Of the major cities, only Kabul, Mazar-e-Sarif and Jalalabad came under the control of government forces. Radical Islamists currently control nearly two-thirds of the South Asian country’s territory.