Lost in interpretation: Taliban scare for ‘kafir’ interpreters in the midst of US withdrawal from Afghanistan

It was 2002. The world had changed forever. Post 9/11, Afghanistan descended further into disturbance. Mohammed Raza (name changed), a devout and cherishing family man, was gazing at an unsure future alongside his better half. He despised the Taliban and needed a superior life for his three children.

That was whenever Raza got an opportunity to help the approaching United States troops and unified government associations as an interpreter. Alongside the US and NATO troops, Afghanistan likewise saw a convergence of human rights and different associations that pointed toward bettering the existences of individuals.

While the troops pounded Taliban-controlled grounds and frantically looked for then Al-Qaeda chief Osama container Laden — considered brains of 9/11 attacks, these associations assembled schools and roads, and set up camps for uprooted individuals.

Raza managed to advance up the ladder across various US government associations until 2010, during which he was additionally part of a group that worked for the Presidential polls of 2009 and the Parliamentary elections the next year. After Afghanistan saw a stable elected government in charge, Raza started to work all alone as a worker for hire.

Quick forward to 2016, and his world changed once more. There was discussion of the US troops pulling out of Afghanistan. Taliban contenders were detecting a chance and Raza’s fears of the dim days returned. That was the point at which he decided to apply for a SIV (Special Immigration Visa) which would help him fly out to the US. The application, alongside thousands of others, was rejected.

After five years, the world has changed significantly more. The Covid-19 pandemic has assaulted a few nations, and a difference in leadership in Washington assisted moves to bring US troops back home.

In the face of Taliban 2.0, Raza by and by applied for SIV for him and his family. He has been getting sends and enigmatic messages from the Taliban since 2019 blaming him for being an American government operative and a “kafir” (infidel). He quits returning to his hometown (Ghazni) and openings himself up in Kabul’s metropolitan locale. Life has gotten uncomfortable for Raza and thousands like him.


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