Afghan woman in Halifax fears for family in Afghanistan with ties to army

·2 min read
Zakiya was among the 100 people who gathered earlier this week at the Peace and Friendship park in Halifax for a protest calling for justice in Afghanistan. (Dave Laughlin/CBC - image credit)
Zakiya was among the 100 people who gathered earlier this week at the Peace and Friendship park in Halifax for a protest calling for justice in Afghanistan. (Dave Laughlin/CBC - image credit)

An Afghan woman in Halifax says she is terrified for her family who remain in the city of Kabul, including those who served in Afghanistan's military.

Zakiya has lived in Halifax for the past five years and she has tried relentlessly to gain sponsorship for her family to join her in Canada.

CBC News has agreed to only publish her first name to ensure the safety of her loved ones who are in Afghanistan.

Zakiya said her father recently retired from the Afghan military. Two of her brothers also served, but they were forced into hiding after the Taliban takeover, along with her other family members.

There are fears the Taliban is targeting members of the Afghan army.

"If they [the Taliban] come into their home, they're going to kill all of them," she said.

Hope fading for rescue

Zakiya attended Wednesday's protest in Halifax calling for justice in Afghanistan. She said she hopes events that draw attention to the plight of Afghanistan will bring her family to Canada.

But the attack on Kabul's international airport Thursday and the end of Canadian evacuations have left her feeling lost and heartbroken for her family's well-being.

Zakiya said she's been told by family the Taliban has a list of women's names, and they go door to door looking for unmarried and widowed women. Girls as young as 13 are terrified they will be taken away by militants.

She said she worries for her niece who is a young woman living at home with her parents and her sister who is pregnant.

Limited communication

Zakiya has only heard sporadically from her family because of limited access to internet in Afghanistan, but she said she was in touch with one of her brothers earlier this week on a messaging app.

He and 13 other family members had just made it to Pakistan.

Even though they've escaped Afghanistan, Zakiya isn't positive her family is safe and how they will live there.

"Police and government over there doesn't like our people," she said.

Her parents, two siblings and their spouses and children remain behind in Kabul.

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