October 17, 2021

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

“We are waiting here as prisoners” for Afghan refugees heading to Canada

Javed Ahmed Haqmal, a former Afghan translator who has been stranded in Ukraine for nearly a month, does not know when he will be able to fly to Canada.


Florence Morin-Martell

Florence Morin-Martell
Press

From August 28 in Kiev, Javed Ahmed Hakmal is ready to fly to his new country. But transactions with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) did not provide any information about his departure date. “We are waiting like prisoners here,” says the former translator for the Canadian Army.

When the Taliban invaded Afghanistan four months ago, Javed Ahmed Hakmal “began to panic.” [sa] Life. “He then contacted Robert St. Opin, aide to Liberal MP Marcus Pavlovsky. The latter recommended that he flee to Kabul without delay.

After packing his house in Kandahar behind him, the translator then took the necessary steps to welcome him into Canada. “I had a lot of confidence,” Hakmal recalled. I can save my family and my life. ”

After several tests and days of not being able to enter Kabul airport, Javed Ahmed Hakmal and his family were finally able to leave Afghanistan on a Ukrainian commando plane. He owes it to Mark McKinnon to escape Globe and Mail. For weeks, the Canadian journalist tried to save his former fixer Mohammed Sharif Sharap. Mark McKinnon also added my name to the list [du vol] 2, Mr. Hakmal says.

Photo by Evgeni Maloletka, Special Gallery

Former Canadian Armed Forces translator Javed Ahmed Hakmal, OK, with the reporter Globe and MailMark McKinnon, left, and former fixer Mohammed Sharif Sharaf, center, Kiev, Ukraine on August 29

Difficult adaptation

Javed Ahmed Hakmal says his family is struggling to adapt to Ukraine. “It’s very different from Afghanistan,” he said. He and his family did not have the warm clothing needed for Kiev’s weather. “My five children are sick,” he laments.

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With his family, Mr. Hakmal lives in a hotel room paid for by Mark McKinney. While he praises the generosity of the Canadian journalist, the translator describes the minimal conditions in which they live. “We eat potatoes and eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he says. “I’m ready to be here for a couple more months, as long as I have the support to do so,” the latter was subtle.

Alexander Cohen, Press Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Marco Mendicino, confirms that many Afghan refugees are “in transportation points around the world.”

“We work [ces personnes] We can make sure they have the documents they need and they can continue their journey to Canada in a timely manner, ”the press secretary wrote. Mr. Without commenting on Hakmal’s condition, Mr. Cohen “Many were evicted [les] Ukrainian allies have now arrived in Canada.

Exit, stay

Prophet Muhammad Yusuf was one of those who came to Canada. In the country since August 29, a former translator of the Canadian Armed Forces says he is “very grateful” to be here. “Words failed me to express my gratitude,” he said over the phone.

What does he like about Canada so far? “People,” he replied immediately. After the isolation is over, he and his pregnant wife are waiting for a home.

Photo provided by Prophet Muhammad Yusuf

Mohammed Nabi Youssef, a former translator for the Canadian Army, arrived in the country on August 29.

But the beginning is not easy, says the Prophet Muhammad Yusuf. Its first flight, from Afghanistan, took off with more than 450 people on board. “If I had been told to stand for the whole flight, I would have done it,” says Yusuf. The main thing is to be able to leave. ”

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According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 3,700 Afghan refugees have been deported by Canada, and many have fled to thank friendly countries.

But Mr. who served for the Canadian Army or allies. Not all of Yusuf’s brothers are so lucky. The interpreter fears retaliation from the Taliban, they are “angry” and do not obey the same rules of the former government.

[Les talibans] Intimidate my family, then ask: “Where is your brother?”

Mohammed Nabi Yousafzai, a former Canadian military translator, is now in Canada

It is difficult for ex-partners to get jobs. “Before, you could go to work in government,” Mr Youssef explains. Now it is different. He worries about his unemployed brother, whose wife was killed in the attack two months ago. “He now has to take care of his five children himself,” she laments.

Relatives of Javed Ahmed Hakmal have also taken steps to come to Canada. Half of his family are still in Afghanistan due to lack of space on the Ukrainian flight. “They are waiting,” the interpreter in Kiev throws.