Britain should honour debt to Afghan heroes say campaignersAugust 13, 2023
Britain should honour its debt to Afghan heroes by providing more resources to help them build a new life, campaigners urge ministers
- Thousands, including interpreters, are still stranded in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Britain should provide more resources to Afghans who risked their lives for the UK and honour promises made to help them build a new life, two charity bosses have told the Government.
Relocation flights to Britain were stopped nine months ago but thousands, including interpreters, are still stranded in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
James Needham from Help for Heroes and Enver Solomon from the Refugee Council wrote an open letter to immigration minister Robert Jenrick, marking the second anniversary of the mass evacuation that followed the Taliban seizing control of Kabul.
The letter states that many Afghans remain stranded while some of those among the 15,000 flown to Britain by the RAF are still separated from their family.
Among them are former frontline interpreters brought to Britain without their families as well as children who escaped on flights with relatives but have since been separated from their parents.
James Needham from Help for Heroes and Enver Solomon from the Refugee Council wrote an open letter to immigration minister Robert Jenrick
The letter marks the second anniversary of the mass evacuation that followed the Taliban seizing control of Kabul
In the letter, the charity bosses said they would like to ‘express concerns over the failure to resettle eligible Afghan citizens in the UK… particularly those seeking to reunite with family members already given sanctuary in Britain.
‘In 2021, the Government made a covenant with Afghan citizens, who had served our nation’s interests by working with our Armed Forces and diplomatic services, that they would be resettled with their family members in the UK.
‘The right to bring family members was central to our promise, recognising the Taliban would carry out retributive actions against those associated with the UK’s presence in the country.
‘Two years have passed since that promise was made and many families are still separated.’
The Mail’s Betrayal of the Brave campaign found some Afghans stuck in Pakistan felt like ‘prisoners’, having spent more than a year unable to leave their hotels because their visas have expired and they risk possible deportation to Kabul if picked up by local police.
Some say they are desperate and have considered suicide, while more than 700 children are unable to go to school. Among those stranded is Ahmad, 32, a former frontline translator, who has spent more than 550 days in a hotel in Pakistan and described waiting to find housing in Britain as ‘daily torture with no escape’. He said: ‘I almost lost my life helping Britain and then to deny me entry for over a year is cruel and makes no sense.’
The open letter describes the ‘brave men and women who served our country at a time of war. They served alongside our troops and diplomats, risking their lives…
‘The least we should do as a nation is protect their loved ones.’
The Government said supporting the resettlement of Afghans was a priority with more than 12,300 individuals relocated.
Source: Read Full Article