A former interpreter now holed up in a friend’s house in Afghanistan and hiding from the Taliban tells Fox News Friday that “I wish I didn’t work with the United States.”
That interpreter, who asked to be referred to only as “Manar” for fear of his safety, did work with the U.S. for almost 11 years. Now he says Taliban soldiers are scouring his neighborhood trying to hunt him down.
“Two or three times the Taliban came and asked [for] me by my door,” he said. “I am sure that if they captured me, they will kill me.”
Taliban fighters display their flag on patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday. (AP)
Manar also tells Fox News that he, his wife and five children – who are also in hiding with him – plan to make the 8-hour drive from Mazar-i-Sharif to Kabul leaving under the cover of darkness with nothing but their passports.
If they are stopped by the Taliban along the way, he’ll tell them his wife is sick and he’s looking for medicine.
And if they do make it to Kabul’s airport, it’s unclear how they’ll even get in.
“At the moment there are thousands of people who are rushing in the airport and we don’t know how to enter,” Manar said. “We didn’t get any response from the U.S. Embassy from any people with the United States. I sent more than ten times to get an answer from them but there is no reply. Now I’m stuck here.”
He describes the Special Immigrant Visa process as tedious and exasperating, telling Fox News he applied three times over the past five years and that his application kept getting kicked back for trivial reasons like a recommendation letter from his U.S. supervisor not having a date on it.
Manar says his last application, filed on July 2nd, is now in process.
After spending more than a decade working with the U.S., Manar now has a message for Americans.
“For the U.S. people, they should ask for Mr. President Joe Biden, that they should take care of those left behind. Interpreters and also those people who work with the U.S. government like me – I worked half of my life with the U.S. government, and now they leave me behind.”