Taliban calls on Afghan interpreters to 'repent' and stay in the country


Published: 2021-06-07 12:31

Last Updated: 2021-10-25 01:02

Source: Al Jazeera
Source: Al Jazeera

The Taliban on Monday called on the interpreters of the Afghan international forces to "repent" and stay in Afghanistan after the departure of Western forces that are accelerating their withdrawal from the country.

The insurgents stressed in a statement that these Afghans "will not face any danger from our side" and that "no one should leave the country."

In their statement, they stressed that "a large number of Afghans during the last twenty years have made a mistake (choosing) their profession and worked with foreign forces as translators, guards or other jobs, and now with the withdrawal of foreign forces, they feel fear and seek to leave the country."

The Taliban added that "the Islamic Emirate wants to tell them that they must repent for their past actions and not engage in such activities in the future, which are a betrayal of Islam and their country."

"But no one should leave the country," the group added.

The movement stressed that "the Islamic Emirate will not cause them problems. It calls on them to return to a normal life and to serve their country. They will not face any danger from our side."

"We used to view them as our enemies, but from the moment they leave the enemy's ranks, they will again be ordinary Afghans in their own country and they should not be afraid," she said.

The rebels concluded by saying, "But if they claim to face a 'danger' in order to obtain the so-called asylum, then this is their problem, not the problem of the mujahideen."

With the accelerated withdrawal of NATO forces, thousands of Afghan translators who used to work with embassies and Western military forces are flocking to consulates in the hope of obtaining an immigrant visa, fearing reprisals if the Taliban return to power in Kabul.

After agreeing to the unconditional withdrawal that the United States signed with the Taliban, US President Joe Biden has set a symbolic date of September 11 for the completion of the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, though operations may end during the summer.

The number of US visas granted has fallen sharply in recent years, with US officials asserting that some extremists pretend to be translators.

According to the US embassy in Kabul, about 18,000 Afghans are still waiting for a response to their applications, while an equal number of Afghans have obtained visas in 20 years, according to a Brown University report.

The British government recently confirmed that it intends to speed up the relocation of its Afghan staff. In this context, London agreed to receive 1,358 Afghans, and more than 3,000 additional people are supposed to benefit from this program.

After the French army withdrew from the country in late 2021, a number of translators spoke of threats and are still demanding a visa from Paris, but less than half of the 770 staff at the time have obtained one.

Since late May, France has begun granting about 100 visas to employees of the embassy and other French agencies in Kabul, in addition to their relatives.