Following a week-long blitz by the terrorist organization that has left people in Afghan cities fearful for their lives, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it clear on Tuesday that Canada has “no plans” to accept the Taliban as Afghanistan’s formal government leadership.
“Canada has no plans to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s government. “Canada did not recognize them 20 years ago when they were in power,” said the Liberal leader, who is presently running for re-election.
“(The Taliban) have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force… They are a recognized terrorist organization under Canadian law.”
Previously, he said Canada “firmly condemns” the violence unfolding and is working with allies, including the U.K. and U.S., on planning for what comes next.
Trudeau said he has not ruled out using military resources to evacuate Afghans as turmoil in the country continues to surge.
Thousands of Afghans rushed onto the tarmac of Kabul’s international airport Monday, so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that some plunged to their deaths attempting to hold onto an American military jet as it took off, killing seven people.
Kabul fell to the Taliban on Sunday after Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing an end to a two-decade war in which the U.S. and its allies had sought to free the country from al-Qaida and its Taliban hosts.
A 2001 report by the U.S. State Department found women living under Taliban rule were not allowed to attend school or work, and were required to wear a burqa in public or face severe punishments such as death and stoning. It also said they were subject to rape and forced marriages, and were prohibited from leaving their homes without a male escort.
“It’s really clear that the Taliban is a terrorist organization and it’s an organization we should not recognize,” NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said a separate press conference shortly after.
“It’s clearly a terrorist organization and puts people lives at risk.”
The Taliban have been promising it is a changed group, though many Afghans doubt that. On Tuesday, the group offered an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government.
Many women feel the two-decade Western experiment to expand their rights and remake Afghanistan would not survive the resurgent Taliban.
Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, noted both the Taliban’s vows and the fear of those now under their rule.
“Such promises will need to be honored, and for the time being — again understandably, given past history — these declarations have been greeted with some skepticism,” he said in a statement. “There have been many hard-won advances in human rights over the past two decades. The rights of all Afghans must be defended.”
Throughout the recent crisis, Canada has been expanding its humanitarian efforts to resettle 20,000 Afghans fleeing from the Taliban.
Two aircraft carrying diplomats, troops and Afghans fleeing the Taliban touched down late Monday night on Canadian soil.
A statement from Global Affairs Canada on Tuesday morning confirmed one flight landed in Toronto carrying Afghans who qualified to come to Canada under the government’s recently announced special immigration measures for former interpreters and embassy staff who helped Canadians on the ground.
The second flight arrived in Ottawa with workers from the Canadian embassy in Kabul, which had been evacuated as Taliban terrorists took control of the country.
It is unknown how many Afghans were on the flight that landed in Toronto at this time.
The Department of National Defence acknowledged that several Canadian personnel in Afghanistan, “including special operatives,” have returned home.
The flight was chartered, according to the department.
Source_ The Canadian Press