July 19, 2024
Harjit Sajjan, lower left, is seen in 2006 while serving with the Canadian military in Afghanistan. It has been alleged that in 2021, during the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Sajjan, then serving as Canada’s minister of defence, requested that special forces rescue a group of Afghan Sikhs, which pulled resources away from the rescue of Canadians and Afghans linked to Canada.

The unpardonable sins of 2021 and the Afghans who suffer because of them

There are 40 million people now enslaved by the Taliban in Afghanistan — people who believed in us, trusted us and were betrayed by us

It has now been a full week since the Globe and Mail reported accusations from Canadian military sources that while he was defence minister, Harjit Sajjan wrongfully intervened on behalf of about 225 Afghan Sikhs at the expense of efforts to rescue Canadians along with Afghans connected to the Canadian military during the final, bloody and chaotic hours of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021.Sajjan is said to have either advised, instructed or suggested to military commanders that a group of Sikhs who were known to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship had reached a point close to Kabul’s airport, and were hoping for an escort through the mayhem and Taliban checkpoints barring their way. In any case, this was taken as a perfectly legitimate “order,” according to Chief of Defence Staff Wayne Eyre. But quite a bit has developed since June 27.

Sajjan has angrily denied that he told Canadian special operations forces to launch what turned out to be a failed rescue operation — the Sikhs had returned to Kabul before the Special Operations team could get to them. Whether this was even a rescue effort, as such, has been disputed.

Sajjan has resorted to the predictably unconvincing Liberal habit of alleging a racist motive behind the shocking headlines. Just as predictably, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dismissed out of hand any suggestion that Sajjan should be fired from his current post as emergency preparedness minister. In the parochial Canadian way of such scandals, the script writes itself.

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