- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The first female fixed-wing Afghan air force pilot says her 15-month fight for asylum in the U.S. is needed because of a deteriorating security situation.

Afghan officials are angry with Capt. Niloofar Rahmani, 25, for speaking to U.S. media outlets about death threats she and her family has received since her July 2012 graduation from flight school. The C-208 pilot’s family has moved multiple times to ensure their safety from members of the Taliban and extended family.

“Things are not changing,” the officer told The New York Times Sunday. “Things are getting worse and worse.”

Gen. Mohammad Radmanish, a Defense Ministry spokesman, told the newspaper that Capt. Rahmani is lying to influence U.S. officials.

“I am sure she lied by saying she was threatened, just to win the asylum case,” he said. ” It is baseless that she claimed her life was at risk while serving in the Afghan air force. … We request from our American friends and government to reject her asylum case and send her back, because knowing the truth, Captain Rahmani’s life isn’t at risk at all.”

Col. Ayan Khan, a helicopter pilot in the Afghan Air Force, also said that his colleague’s fears are unfounded.

Captain Rahmani’s claim that she was harassed in the workplace is not true, because in the Air Force all the pilots and staff are well-educated and highly trained people,” he told The Times.


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