Afghans who worked as interpreters for US troops hold rally – Times of India

KABUL: A small group of Afghans who worked as interpreters for the US army rallied on Friday close to the American Embassy in Kabul, protesting the crimson tape that stands in the best way of their leaving Afghanistan.
The protest comes amid a push to get Afghan interpreters and others who helped the US out of the nation as American and NATO troops full their pullout. The protesters in Kabul mentioned they’re victims of a bureaucratic nightmare as they attempt to escape overseas.
Many, even these who haven’t been instantly threatened, say they worry for their lives, regardless of assurances from the Taliban they might not be focused.
The former interpreters mentioned the scenario is more and more pressing. Many had their particular immigration visas authorised, solely to see them later denied, allegedly as a result of of minor discrepancies of their statements from one interview to a different. Others had been denied outright or had been authorised however we’re nonetheless ready for the visas.
One of the lads, Omid Mahmoodi, mentioned he was not moved by President Joe Biden‘s promise on Thursday that Afghans who had helped the US army over the past practically 20 years wouldn’t be left behind.
“We think he is lying,” mentioned Mahmoodi, who worked as a translator in 2018. “Time is running out.”
Lately, it’s become evident that the deadline for the last of the 2,500-3,5000 U.S. troops and 7,000 allied NATO soldiers to leave Afghanistan has been accelerated. Biden had said the last of the troops would be home no later than Sept. 11 but it has become increasingly clear that the last soldiers would be gone from Afghanistan as early as next month.
Hezat Shah, who said he worked as an interpreter in southern Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold, said he risked his life each time he stepped into an armored vehicle with the Americans.
He said he does not trust a Taliban statement from last month that they would not seek revenge against those who worked with the Americans or helped Western interests.
“They are to not be trusted … they’re mendacity,” mentioned Shah.
Biden faces robust criticism from some Republicans for pulling out of Afghanistan, although President Donald Trump made the 2020 take care of the Taliban to withdraw all US forces by May 2021.
The Taliban are as we speak stronger than they’ve ever been because the 2001 invasion to topple their regime for harboring Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida chief, and have management over roughly half of Afghanistan, principally rural areas. There’s deep insecurity and worry of violence from the Taliban and the numerous closely armed US-allied warlords as soon as the US withdraws. Increasing lawlessness and a latest transfer to resurrect militias to struggle a Taliban surge has additional fired fears of a violent future for Afghanistan
Later on Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chair of the High Council for National Reconciliation, are assembly with Biden on the White House.
As previous expertise not simply from Afghanistan but in addition Iraq has proven, the vetting course of to qualify for a particular immigration visa may typically take years, with a number of interviews and the smallest contradiction from one interview to the following could be sufficient to disqualify an applicant.
Steve Miska, the creator of Baghdad Underground Railroad, which tells of the challenges confronted by interpreters and their struggles to discover a new life in America, mentioned the “forms is a multitude.”
“I don’t think the process was intentionally designed to be self-defeating. However, 9/11 created a hypervigilant US response to terrorism,” Miska said in an email to The Associated Press. “The good intentions of the disparate intelligence group has created a particularly difficult course of.”
Mohammad Shoaib Walizada, who applied for his visa in 2012, was at first accepted but then rejected, said that in one interview he mentioned having three cousins, and later erroneously changed the figure. Mahmoodi, the other interpreter, said he mentioned an uncle and claimed he forgot to mention the uncle’s death in a subsequent interview and was disqualified.
“Then they are saying you’re mendacity, however I simply did not keep in mind,” mentioned Mahmoodi.

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