Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has left the decision making in the hands of ‘highly trained civil servants who have decided Mr. Sayed’s life is not in danger if he goes back to his country and hence not eligible for permanent residency in Canada. Moreover, according to Mr. Kenney, these Afghans knew what they were signing up for. They were promised payment for their service and nothing more.
So whatever happens to them now is not the problem of the Canadian government. The Talibans were not defeated and are increasingly gaining power. In such a scenario, Mr. Sharifi is in danger of being hunted down and probably killed by the Taliban insurgents once he goes back to Afghanistan.
There has been proof of death threats and harassment his family has been facing from the insurgents including his father’s report where he informed of Talibans visiting him and warning him that Mr. Sharifi would face their wrath once he returns, for ‘working with infidels.’
As per Toronto Star reports, Mr. Sharifi had reported his Canadian Commanders, Navy Lieutenants Jason Walsh, Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Radimer and Army-Captain Alexander Duncan about threatening phone calls from the Talibans in 2008 and 2009.
The immigration department claimed that his information were inconsistent. As per Mr. Sharifi, he claims he provided the same information everytime. At one point he was told his VISA was approved and waiting his medical and security clearance. He was then scheduled an interview on the 21st of July, which was the final step in the process of getting the VISA.
According to Mr. Sharifi, the Canadians who interviewed him, identified themselves as “immigration intelligence officers”. These officers, as per Mr. Sharifi, asked him weird questions. They told him that they had read Seyed’s article in the newspaper and asked whether he passed the VISA screening on the basis of that. In response to this, he showed these officers 13 recommendation letters and certificates from Canadian officials. They asked him if he was happy that Osama bin Laden was killed.
So what do we have here? An Afghan interpreter’s words against Mr. Kenney’s immigration officers.
Canada is famous for giving refugee status to hundreds and thousands of people across the world on the basis of adversities they face in their own country. But here, this man helped the Canadian troops by putting his life in the line of fire, literally and this courageous act doesn’t warrant a resident permit? Just because there is no more use of him, the Canadian government can just throw him out in the cold?
He could no longer go back to Kandahar, so he moved his family to Kabul to get away from the continuous death threats from the Taliban.
When Mr. Kenney was asked on Wednesday in the House Of Commons whether Mr. Sharifi would get a visa, Mr. Kenney said, “There is a process in place. Sharifi has been given the same access as everyone else who has qualified for the program, and the officials in charge have determined that he does not qualify.”
Mr. Sharifi is still alive which is a good thing but it might not be for long. Before something disastrous happens which could not be reversed, the Harper government should do the right thing and show the world once again how compassionate the country is and grant this brave Afghan a visa which would be a ticket to a life without death threats and a reward for his service and bravery.
info. taken from Toronto Star article