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Green Party leader Annamie Paul brings attention to situation in Afghanistan

She temporarily suspended her campaigning to focus on the Afghan situation, and urged other federal candidates to do the same
Leader of The Green Party Canada Annamie Paul speaks in Guelph as MPP Mike Schreiner stands behind her in support. Anam Khan/GuelphToday

The Green Party of Canada expressed concern over Canada’s efforts in evacuating Canadian nationals and Afghan refugees. Canada pulled back their special forces and evacuation flights in Afghanistan this week. 

“It has been terrible to learn that Canada’s evacuation efforts have ceased and that most Canadian personnel have left,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “This means that thousands of Canadian nationals, their families and the Afghan support staff who worked, and fought side by side with Canada’s military and diplomatic personnel are now trapped in Afghanistan with no immediate chance of rescue or safety. They will now be forced to go into hiding or to try to make desperate and dangerous attempts to cross Afghan frontiers that are now controlled by the Taliban.”

Paul cancelled her plans with the upcoming federal election to be briefed on the evolving situation and consider proposals the Green Party can offer. She urged other federal candidates to also suspend their campaign for 24 hours to jointly consider Canada’s rescue plan. 

“Well ahead of the U.S. withdrawal, Canada should have had a plan in place to ensure the safe evacuation of Canadian nationals, their families as well as the Afghan support staff who worked with Canada. Because we did not have a plan, NGO partners are reporting that only a fraction of Canada’s Afghan support staff have been evacuated. And now that the airport is closed, and Afghan borders are monitored or controlled by the Taliban, the likelihood of successful extraction has become infinitely harder, and much more dangerous,” Paul said in the press release. 

Paul said that every minute counts and wants Canada to recognize the urgency with this matter. Paul and the Green Party expect Prime Minister Trudeau and other relevant federal ministers to drop all election activities to put an actionable evacuation plan in place. 

“More than 40,000 Canadian military personnel served in Afghanistan, 159 Canadian soldiers died, and thousands were wounded. We must never forget that Canada’s military deployment to Afghanistan was one of the most significant in our history,” Paul concluded.