Afghanistan: The interpreter who helped Biden in 2008 is safe
Afghanistan– The Afghan interpreter, who thirteen years ago saved US President Joe Biden, then a senator, has been evacuated from Pakistan, forced by a snowstorm to make an emergency landing in Afghanistan. At the end of August, Aman Khalili had asked to return his favor and help his family escape from the country conquered by the Taliban.
He, his wife, and his four children risked being killed by the Koranic students because of the work labelling him as an American collaborator. Despite that, they were among the thousands left in the country after the last US evacuation plan on August 31. Khalili told the British Wall Street Journal that his visa application was blocked because the company he worked for had lost the documents he needed.
Then the Taliban took Kabul on August 15, and like many, he tried his luck by going to the gates of the capital’s airport, where he was pushed back by US forces. Khalili, who for security reasons had been nicknamed Mohammed, could enter, they told him, but not his wife and their children. “I trust he can do it all, is the president of the United States. He is an educated man,” said the interpreter, confident that Biden would heed his appeal.
In a note from the Human First Coalition, which is dealing with the safety of the Americans and their allies who remained in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US forces, we read: “We are grateful for the continued support of the first Pakistan Minister Imran Khan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Senator Chris Coon, and Islamabad Task Force Director Mark Tarkowski for the evacuation of the family of Aman Khalili, the president’s interpreter, from Islamabad Joe Biden and their promise to evacuate the remaining 200 people who remain in Islamabad.”
And a senior State Department official confirmed to US broadcaster CNN that the family first left Afghanistan and now Pakistan, but did not specify where they will continue their journey for safety reasons. The official added that he is aware that his visa application was rejected years ago and is working “to expedite the powers of attorney.” In August, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki praised the interpreter and reaffirmed the US commitment to help Afghan allies. “We will get you out – she said after a reporter from the Wall Street Journal read the message to the president – We will honor your service.”