In response to a deadly Taliban offensive, the Canadian government has announced that it will permanently resettle 20,000 ‘vulnerable’ Afghans, including Sikhs and Hindus. The Taliban seized Herat and Kandahar on Thursday and Friday, encircling Kabul in a blitz attack. More than two-thirds of the territory and most of the capitals of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan are believed to be under insurgent control.
Canada remains deeply concerned over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the risks it poses to many Afghans who are vulnerable. Canadian government officials claimed Taliban militants are gaining control of more of Afghanistan and Afghan lives are in jeopardy. Thousands of Afghans have already fled the country. In accordance with the agreement made by the ministers of immigration, refugees and citizenship, national defense and foreign affairs, 20,000 Afghans with vulnerabilities will be resettled.
Afghanistan-related immigrants will continue to be eligible for Canada’s special immigration program. Moreover, the government has introduced a scheme to aid vulnerable groups. Afghanistan’s deteriorating situation has deeply concerned Canadians. Canada is known around the world as a supporter of people in need and will provide support to Afghans in times of need. ‘Women leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, religious minorities and LGBTI individuals will be safe in Canada, and I look forward to welcoming them’, said Indian-origin Minister Sajjan.
According to the statement, the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation helped resettle hundreds of persecuted Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in the country in the past. ‘Providing refuge to the world’s most vulnerable speaks to who we are as Canadians, particularly in times of crisis. In response to the growing number of Afghan refugees seeking shelter in Canada, we are redoubling our efforts to help the 20,000 Afghan refugees still at risk here. Canada will not stand idly by as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates,’ said Minister Mendicino. US and NATO forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan at the same time as the latest Taliban assault. It is expected that all foreign troops will withdraw by August 31.