By Ebi Kesiena
The President of American University of Afghanistan, Ian Bickford has decried direct threat to life and safety of their staff and student, adding that the students have been stranded at Kubul airport.
Speaking on CNN as monitored by Heritage Times, Bickford explained that the school seeks to ensure that the students are evacuated so that they can continue their studies in a safe environment.
According to him, some of their staff are harassed by the Taliban who come directly to their residence, knocking door to door in most cities, questioning and harassing them on their mission in the country.
He stated that after failed attempts to evacuate over 1200 students, the student were sent back home for their safety.
‘‘Hundreds of our students, their relatives and staff of the American University of Afghanistan gathered at a safe house and boarded buses in what was supposed to be a final attempt at evacuation on U.S. military flights.
‘‘But after seven hours of waiting for clearance to enter the airport gates and driving around the city, the group met a dead end, evacuations were permanently called off and we are desperate to pull out our students.
“The scholar pilgrims who were turned away today while seeking safe passage to a better future need the help of the U.S. government, who gave them the hope they must not lose,” he said.
Bickford also explained that an email was sent to the school authorities, asking the 600 or so students and relatives to return home.
The U.S. troop’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is to be completed by Tuesday, August 31, so the military is moving from evacuating civilians to bringing its own personnel home.
The group was then alarmed after learning that their names had been shared with the Taliban fighters guarding the airport checkpoints. Mr. Bickford said that the university had given the names only to the U.S. military.
“They told us: We have given your names to the Taliban,” said Hosay, a 24-year-old sophomore studying business administration, “we are all terrified. There is no evacuation, there is no getting out.”