Afghan guards threatened by Taliban plead NZ Govt for visas

Source: 1News

Afghan guards who worked for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) are pleading with the Government to allow them into the country as they try to escape Taliban rule.

They have come to 1News saying their lives are in danger now the Taliban are in control and they're hiding with their families in the hills.

"We are asking the New Zealand Government not to forget and leave us behind," the guards pleaded.

They say it's urgent because one colleague's already been killed for his involvement with the NZDF.

Parwiz Hakimi was a lead interpreter and now calls Auckland home.

Afghanistan guards plead with NZ Govt for visas.

He's been talking to the men stuck in Afghanistan and says the Government still owes them, even though they missed the visa application deadline when the Taliban took power at the end of August.

"The reason they couldn't submit the application on time is the Karma district was the first district to fall in the hands of the Taliban and they had to escape and get to the mountains," Hakimi said.

Former defence minister Wayne Mapp agrees.

"For heavens sake it was a country in war and chaos, obviously not everyone was going to get in," Mapp said.

"Therefore our Government needs to provide a degree of pragmatism about this."

Since the deadline more than 1300 visas have been approved, and 586 have already made it to New Zealand.

Immigration minister Kris Faafoi says he's trying to get those with visas out first.

"We have an obligation to make sure those we committed to. We can get them out and not raising expectations of people who we can't and also the ability for us to logistically be able to look after them at home as well," Faafoi said.

“In future years we may be able to do more for those people [guards].”