Canada rescues 100 Nepalis stranded in Afghanistan

KATHMANDU: All 100 Nepalese Gurkhas who were contracted to protect the Canadian embassy in Afghanistan have been evacuated from Kabul and are on their way home to Kathmandu, according to The Globe and Mail.

According to The Globe and Mail, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said at a news conference on Tuesday that because the Gurkhas are not Afghan citizens, they do not qualify for the government’s special immigration program.

However, he said Ottawa worked with the British private security company contracted by the embassy, which employed the Gurkhas, to help get them out.

The Gurkhas “have been there to support Canadians so this is why we have worked with the company and others to help them evacuate,” Mr. Trudeau said.

A photo shared with The Globe and Mail shows a Gurkha thanking the Canadian government on Facebook, writing that everyone in his group has left Afghanistan. The Gurkhas arrived in Dubai early Tuesday, before departing for Nepal.

The Globa and Mail states that the Nepalese Gurkhas played a key role at Canada’s embassy in Kabul, guarding the inner gates and patrolling inside the buildings as private contractors for about 15 years.

Their evacuation comes after calls on the federal government to help them. NDP foreign affairs critic Jack Harris tweeted on Sunday that he was concerned to learn the “100 Nepalese Gurkhas and former staff” working at the Canadian embassy were not included in evacuation plans.

“Canada must take measures to ensure their safety. Instead of focusing on evacuating those at risk in Afghanistan, today Justin Trudeau is calling an election,” Mr. Harris wrote on Sunday, according to the Globe and Mail.

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