I’ve been reporting on the delay and the danger posed to Afghan translators as the United States pulls out of Afghanistan and the Taliban takes over more and more of the country. It’s not just about keeping our word to the people who risked their lives to help us, it’s about having any credibility if we have to be in any future conflict. Who will ever help us if we don’t keep our word to people?
Indeed, in May, I said that the window was closing for Biden to act to get people safely out or we were going to see more people being killed by the Taliban after all they did for us in Afghanistan because they are all under a death threat right now.
Unfortunately, that was correct.
Today it was reported that a man who had worked as a translator for the U.S. Army, 32-year-old Sohail Pardis, was killed by the Taliban.
— War Crimes (@warcrimex) July 24, 2021
This actually happened back in May, when the situation in the country was already bad enough. It’s gotten worse since then, but his killing is just being reported on now.
Pardis was driving to see his sister when he was stopped at a Taliban checkpoint. He had received threats in the past from the Taliban because he worked with the U.S. for 16 months.
The Taliban shot at his car, pulled him out, and then beheaded him. He leaves a nine-year-old daughter and other family members who fear for their lives.
“They were telling him you are a spy for the Americans, you are the eyes of the Americans and you are infidel, and we will kill you and your family,” his friend and fellow translator, Abdulhaq Ayoubi, said. Ayoubi and Pardis were unable to get SIVs and Ayoubi is asking Joe Biden to help out with the situation. “We kindly request President Biden to save us. We helped you and you have to help us.”
There are still over 18,000 people who worked with the United States, still waiting on the status of their Special Immigrant Visas.
Joe Biden announced earlier this week that they would be housing about 2500 people – 700 Afghan interpreters and their families – at a military base, Fort Lee, in Virginia, for a few days until their SIVs are finalized.
But the action isn’t happening wasn’t until the end of this month, and it isn’t yet clear where the other 18,000 people and their families were going to go, people who weren’t as far along in the SIV process. The Pentagon said they were looking at third-party countries to house folks at until they were through the SIV process, but hadn’t yet decided on locations.
It seemed insane that Biden has left this situation like this to virtually the last possible minute as the U.S. is scheduled to be fully out of the country by the end of next month. According to reports, the Taliban has now taken over most of the country as the U.S. has pulled out. So it may now be difficult to get people out. And for people like Sohail Pardis, it’s too late.