Monday, April 23, 2012

A clear moral duty

Sometime next year, New Zealand will likely follow Australia and pull out of Afghanistan for good. But when we do, we will be leaving behind the interpreters who have assisted kiwi soldiers. Their lives are now in danger because of that assistance, and they are asking for asylum in New Zealand:

Afghans working with Kiwi troops in Afghanistan have asked the Defence Minister for help in seeking asylum to New Zealand, fearing they will be killed once international forces pull out of the country, according to a report.

The workers spoke to One News in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province after a meeting between an Afghan commander and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.

The Afghan interpreter said as soon as international forces left his future would be "very dark".

"Our faces are very familiar to most of the people. As soon as international forces leave, our future will be very, very dark and it's most likely we are going to be killed," the man said.

No matter what you think of the Afghan war or the morality of our participation in it, New Zealand has a clear moral duty here. These people's lives are in danger because of us. We have a responsibility to correct that. And the best way of doing that is by granting them asylum here in New Zealand.