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Advocates blast Immigration Department’s silence on Afghan requests for help

Canada’s last military flight left Afghanistan on Thursday
In this photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, Canadian coalition forces assist during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

Grassroots groups say they don’t know what advice to give hundreds of Afghans now stranded in Kabul after pleading for Canada’s help.

The groups made up of veterans, refugee advocates and others say that is because the majority of those Afghans still have not heard back from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on whether their applications for resettlement have been approved.

As a result, the groups say they do not know whether to tell the Afghans to stay at safe houses in Taliban-occupied Kabul and try to escape on an allied military or civilian flight, or risk fleeing to Pakistan or another neighbouring country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, told reporters on the election campaign trail that Canada supports a French and British proposal to create a safe zone at the Kabul airport so Afghans can continue to leave the country.

U.S. President Joe Biden has previously said the last American evacuation flight will depart Afghanistan on Tuesday, though the Pentagon refused to confirm the withdrawal date this morning.

Canada’s last military flight left Afghanistan on Thursday.

READ MORE: ‘We need your support,’ pleads female Afghan activist once helped by Canada

The Canadian Press

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