Those Canada left behind begin dangerous exodus to Pakistan

Their families and Canadian visas in tow, most destined for Canada’s High Commission in Islamabad

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The ones left behind have little choice but to run.


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Forced to fend for themselves both during and in the wake of the bureaucratic nightmare Canada subjected upon them, scores of Afghan locals — promised a life of safety in exchange for their service — are preparing to flee the country.

“I’m feeling sad for my country,” said one local, who spent years providing vital support to Canada’s 14-year mission in Afghanistan.

“My kids are also unhappy.”

After spending all night Wednesday and much of Thursday crammed into a safe house outside of Kabul with four other families, he’s decided to leave and plead his case to the High Commission of Canada in Islamabad, Pakistan.

If they survive the trek.

They aren’t alone — scores of people have already embarked upon the perilous journey.


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While the Toronto Sun has agreed not to disclose specific details of its contacts’ plans to leave the country, the most direct route from Kabul to Pakistan is a 250-km journey along Asia’s Great Trunk Road to Torkham, a border town in the famed Khyber Pass through the majestic Speen Ghar mountain range that separates the two nations.

The journey won’t be an easy one, particularly for those who aided the allies.

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The Taliban took control of territories along the route earlier this month, seizing key waypoint Jalalabad on Aug. 14 and Torkham one day later — although Pakistan had already sealed the border days in advance of the Taliban advance, the BBC reported.

Another, much longer route involves a 700-km trek west to the Chaman border crossing, just southeast of Kandahar.


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That journey isn’t without its risks, but as of Wednesday has resumed accepting cross-border traffic, thanks to negotiations between Pakistan and the Taliban occupiers.

From there it’s south to the provincial capital of Quetta before heading northeast on the nearly 1,000-km journey to Islamabad.

But other routes exist, as do other means of escape.

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  2. Injured people are transported in teh aftermath of the Kabul terror attack on Aug. 26, 2021.

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  3. Wounded Afghan men receive treatment at a hospital after yesterday's explosions outside airport in Kabul, Afghanistan Aug. 27, 2021.

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For many, leaving their homeland is an agonizing decision — and not one made lightly.

“I’m not feeling good about leaving my country,” said another evacuee, who likewise was promised refuge in Canada.

“I’m not happy to see my national flag down.”

But for him and countless others, the promise of a safe life in a new homeland is worth the heartbreak of leaving this one behind.


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