The Government is facing mounting pressure to urgently evacuate Afghan allies from Afghanistan, as the Taliban surrounds Kabul and those who worked alongside New Zealand troops grow more desperate.
Cabinet ministers will meet on Monday to discuss how New Zealand might assist Afghanistan, as the Taliban seized the last remaining provincial city on Sunday, forcing many to flee to Kabul.
Nowroz Ali, who was employed for five months by New Zealand’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in the Bamyan province, said he had fled for the capital Kabul in the hope of being evacuated.
“I left behind my family. While I’m on the way, for several hours … near Kabul there was fighting for a couple of hours, and we had to stop … If I be caught, I would be over.”
Sadly it looks like the entire country may fall to the Taliban. The US decision to withdraw remaining troops looks like it will condemn the women of Afghanistan to second class status. We will probably see the US Embassy evacuated in the next few days, or less.
He said most of the 38 Afghans who claimed to have been employed by the Defence Force, and were seeking assistance from the Government, remained in Bamyan.
New Zealand needed to send assistance as soon as possible, “as the other allied forces countries are”.
“We expect the New Zealand Government to do the same for us … Make a concrete decision as quickly as possible. We never have expected this, no one in Afghanistan could have expected that it could happen this quick.”
It’s only 38 families. We should get them out of there asap.