Letter: Afghan interpreter for Canadian Army deserves better from us

…some CBSA bureaucrat doubts his story.…we are likely to let him be sent back to almost certain death.

To the editor:

James Akram is probably not a name familiar to your readers. He is an Afghan refugee in a German refugee camp and is about to be sent back to Afghanistan. With 25,000 Syrian refugees coming why should we care about this Afghan refugee?

Well James, his anglicized name, served the Canadian Army for three years as an interpreter. Not at Kandahar Airfield, but on forward operating bases in combat. It is reported that his parents were killed by the Taliban and that he is on a Taliban hit list. Soldiers of the Royal Canadian Regiment with whom he served verify his service, bravery and loyalty to them under extreme conditions. Yet it appears we are likely to let him be sent back to almost certain death.

It seems some bureaucrat in CBSA doubts his story, even though Canadian soldiers verify his trustworthiness and loyalty. If he was questionable, he had three years to kill Canadians and did not. These indigenous people are of great value in fighting insurgent wars; however, if we abandon them when we are gone our chances of recruiting them in future operations is reduced.

I was hoping to gather interested veterans to sponsor this individual and queried Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr as to what the government was doing for this refugee and stated that I thought it would be morally reprehensible if Canada let him be sent back to Afghanistan. That was more than two weeks ago and not so much as a “thank you for your communication, we’ll get back to you.”

As Mr. Fuhr claims to be a veteran, he should be fully aware of the value of these assets and the need to protect them.

This is certainly not the standard of service we received from our previous MP.

Allen Batchelar, Kelowna

 

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