‘Time to act’ on Afghanistan say Afghan Australians
Ever since Taliban advanced to Kabul, they knew their country was in strife, in real danger of undoing the gains made in the last 20 years. Despite a press conference and telephone calls to media to reassure freedoms to women and girls in the new Islam Emirate of Afghanistan, trust deficit is palpable.
Clearly defying the US prognosis, Taliban shocked the world seizing the presidential palace in Kabul after taking over most of Afghanistan within a week.
US president had predicted that would not happen, not in 90 days. He must be quite embarrassed about the complete failure of the US intelligence which apparently had NO CLUE when briefing the white house.
It is anticipated the group would soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the captured presidential palace.
Australia’s Afghan community is calling on the government to grant PR to all Afghans on temporary visas in Australia. Some even want Australia to take at least 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, just as Canada has announced it would.
The government has announced no Afghan would be asked to return while the situation is dire in Afghanistan. But for many, that is too little and a lot needs to be done.
Speaking to Bharat Times, Akram Yusofi of president of Hazara Shamama Association said pleading with the Australian government, “Australia has moral obligation to act now and provide safe protection, safe haven for our people … We don’t want to humanitarian crisis … I think Australia can actually do something…”.
Federal leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese agrees.
Mr. Albanese says the government should give them permanent residency.
“The idea that people, for example many of whom are Hazaras, are on temporary protection visas – the idea that the circumstances are going to change, that these are temporary circumstances – is just not real” Albanese said speaking to Michelle Grattan.
He believes the government’s position of not deporting any Afghans while the situation in Afghanistan is volatile is not appropriate.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation on ground in Afghanistan, Nawid Cina, son of Mahbooba Rawi who runs Mahbooba’s Promise (Humanitarian charity organization helping Afghanis in Afghanistan) in Sydney, appealed to the federal government to accept the reality of the today’s Afgahnistan under Taliban. He told Bharat Times, “ … we need to kind of break this narrative that Afghanistan is a safe place to send people back to, that they don’t have a well founded fear of persecution they do. We’ve seen this, if people are checking themselves and tying themselves onto airplanes, like what what’s the desperation that that pushes a human being to do it?”
“It doesn’t acknowledge the circumstances which these people confront. And we want them to fully participate in Australian society, and they should have the capacity to become full Australian citizens” Mr Albanese added.
Position adopted by Anthony Albanses is very soothing to the aggrieved Afghani Australian sentiment. Also of comfort to Afghani community here in Victoria are words of the Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs in Victoria, Neil Angus.
“The unfolding events in Afghanistan remind us of the fragility of democracy and how it is incumbent upon us to protect it” Mr Angus said in a statement.
“We are committed to supporting our Afghan community here in Victoria during this challenging time, and our thoughts and prayers are with those whose family and friends are caught up in these events”, Mr Angus added.