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Former Afghan interpreter for Canadian military fears for family in Kabul

Last Updated Aug 27, 2021 at 1:29 pm MDT

Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Two suicide bombers and gunmen have targeted crowds massing near the Kabul airport, in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

A former Afghan interpreter for the Canadian military is worried for his family’s safety, saying they’re stuck in Afghanistan and have had no communication from the federal government.

Junaid Abdul Latif, who lives in the Toronto area, tells CityNews Ottawa he still doesn’t know if his family is even qualified to come back to Canada.

“I have the documents, which were signed by colonels and majors, captains and master warrant [officers], but there’s no response,” he said.

Abdul Latif arrived in Canada in 2012. He assisted with the Armed Forces for about five years before coming to this country.

He says his wife is also in Toronto, but he has parents and other family members who are still trying to get out of Afghanistan.

Given his history with the Canadian military, Abdul Latif says he fears for his family, simply because they are related to him. He believes his family is being targeted by the Taliban because of their connection to him and his affiliation with the Canadians.

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The former interpreter says he’s told his family to stay away from the airport in Kabul due to the volatile situation.

“The way I see it, there’s no way to get out of Afghanistan without any proof or any documents. The people there — I don’t understand — there is kids dying between these crowds, women. That’s why I always asked my family to stay home and don’t go anywhere.”

He says it’s been a week since he’s submitted documentation, but there’s still been no word from the Canadian government about what steps he and his family can or should take.

He feels interpreters who worked with Canadian forces should be part of a different group than the 20,000 Afghans Canada is planning to accept.

Listen to the full interview with Junaid Abdul Latif on The Rob Snow Show: