A retired Canadian Forces brigadier-general, James Camsell, has made significant progress in his years-long. His campaign to secure safety for an Afghan interpreter known as “Joe.” Joe, who faced grave danger in Afghanistan due to his assistance to NATO forces. He received an invitation from federal officials to apply for asylum in Canada.
Joe’s perilous journey began when the Taliban targeted him for collaborating with coalition forces, a grave act of treason in their eyes. This left Joe and other interpreters at great risk. Camsell believes that Canada has a moral obligation to protect them.
Camsell, who has tirelessly championed Joe’s cause, expressed his joy and relief at the recent development. For two years, he had been tirelessly raising funds for Joe’s cause, reaching out to federal officials and politicians, and advocating for his safe passage to Canada.
He emphasized that interpreters like Joe played an invaluable role in bridging the language and cultural gaps. Without their assistance, many operations and initiatives, including efforts to provide education for girls, would have been impossible.
The threats against Joe’s life escalated over the years, with warnings nailed to his compound. Also an attempted assassination in 2010 when he was shot through the legs. When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, Joe’s life was further imperiled, prompting him to escape to Pakistan with his family.
While the move to Pakistan offered some relief, Joe and his family faced new challenges. They couldn’t work due to their temporary visa status, and like many Afghan refugees in Pakistan, they endured difficult conditions.
Despite the obstacles, Camsell is optimistic that Joe and some of his family members will be able to relocate to Canada within the next three to six months. He remains committed to raising funds to support Joe and his family during their transition.
In response to inquiries about Joe’s case, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada acknowledged their ongoing efforts to resettle vulnerable Afghans in Canada. They expressed their commitment to flexibility in addressing the situation in Afghanistan.
Joe, Afghan interpreter story serves as a testament to bonds formed between those who served together in challenging environments. The importance of fulfilling promises to those who risked their lives to assist Canadian forces overseas.