Legault says Quebec is ready to ‘do its part’ to take in Afghan refugees amid Taliban control

Click to play video: 'Canadian Afghans fear for families overseas amidst Taliban’s takeover'
Canadian Afghans fear for families overseas amidst Taliban’s takeover
WATCH: Canadian Afghans fear for families overseas amidst Taliban's takeover – Aug 16, 2021

Premier François Legault said Quebec will take in Afghan refugees as citizens flee in an attempt to escape the Taliban’s rule of the country.

“Quebec is ready to do its part to take in a certain quantity of Afghan refugees who are living a worrisome situation,” Legault told reporters on Monday.

This comes after the Taliban group has, in a matter of weeks, taken back control of the country from the Afghan government, capturing all major cities including the capital city of Kabul this past Sunday.

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“Quebecers were shocked to see the footage of women’s images being erased (in Kabul),” Legault said.

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The premier added that the Taliban’s treatment of women is “totally unacceptable” and it’s discouraging to see Afghanistan backtrack on the gender equality progress it had made over the past years.

Under the previous Taliban regime between 1996 and 2001, girls were not allowed to attend school, women couldn’t work, were forced to cover their faces in public and be accompanied by a male relative if they left their homes.

Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen has, however, dismissed the concerns for women rights, saying in an exclusive interview with BBC  on Sunday that Afghan girls and women will have access to work and education but will be required to wear a hijab or head covering.

Read more: The Taliban control Afghanistan once more. How did we get here and what comes next?

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On Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “firmly condemned” the escalating violence in Afghanistan. “We are heartbroken at the situation the Afghan people find themselves in today,” he said.

The prime minister said the Canadian government will continue to work to get as many Afghan interpreters and their families out of the country as quickly as possible.

“And we will continue to work over the coming months to resettle refugees who will flee Afghanistan, who will look to come to start new lives in Canada,” Trudeau said.

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— with files from Saba Aziz, Global News

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