The 100 Nepalese Gurkhas who were hired to protect the Canadian Embassy in Afghanistan have been evacuated from Kabul and are on their way back to Kathmandu.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau told a press conference on Tuesday that because the Gurkhas are not Afghan citizens, they are not eligible for the government’s special immigration program. However, he said Ottawa was working with the British private security company hired by the embassy, which employed the Gurkhas, to help them out.
The Gurkhas “have been there to support Canadians, which is why we have worked with the company and others to help them evacuate,” Trudeau said.
Former Canadian coaches in Afghanistan watch with sadness and disappointment as Taliban take control
Taliban checkpoints and Canadian bureaucracy hampering rescue efforts in Afghanistan
A photo shared with The Globe and Mail shows a Gurkha thanking the Canadian government on Facebook, writing that all of his group have left Afghanistan. The Gurkhas arrived in Dubai early Tuesday, before leaving for Nepal.
Nepalese Gurkhas played a key role at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, guarding interior doors and patrolling inside buildings as private contractors for approximately 15 years.
Their evacuation comes after calls to the federal government to help them. NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Jack Harris tweeted on Sunday that he was concerned to learn that the “100 Nepalese Gurkhas and Former Employees” working at the Canadian Embassy were not included in evacuation plans.
“Canada must take action to ensure their safety. Instead of focusing on evacuating those at risk from Afghanistan, Justin Trudeau calls an election today, ”Harris wrote on Sunday.
Mr. Trudeau said Tuesday that all Canadian diplomats have been evacuated; however, there are still former employees of the Canadian Embassy in Kabul and interpreters, who are waiting for a way out of Afghanistan. Three former embassy workers told The Globe they were at home, eagerly awaiting news.
Military flights evacuating Western diplomats and Afghan refugees resumed Tuesday after a chaotic day at the airport that saw desperate Afghans cling to planes and swarm the tarmac in hopes of escaping the country.
Two planes arrived in Canada carrying diplomats and special forces troops as well as a number of Afghan refugees. A plane carrying diplomats and elite agents arrived in Ottawa on Monday evening, according to the Department of National Defense. Another plane was carrying Afghans who assisted Canada on its mission in the country.
Trudeau told reporters on Monday that Canada is working closely with the United States, Britain and other allies to establish “ways in which we can get more and more people out of Afghanistan. in the coming weeks “. However, he also acknowledged that the situation is “extremely fluid and extremely dangerous”.
Trudeau said Monday that at least 807 Afghans have been evacuated this month and 500 have arrived in Canada.
With reports from The Canadian Press
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