Ex-Afghan troops ‘abandoned’ by UK face deportation threat

Team Parvasi – Inside

Ex-Afghan troops ‘abandoned’ by UK face deportation threat
Kabul: AROUND 200 Afghan special forces personnel, stranded in Pakistan while awaiting relocation to the UK, are facing deportation back to the country they escaped from in 2021, according to BBC.

The report says the personnel, trained and funded by the UK, fled to Pakistan after the Afghan Taliban took over Kabul.

The fears for the Afghan commandos come as it was revealed the government also rejected calls from senior British diplomatic and military figures to offer asylum to key Afghan leaders whose lives were in danger.

The future of the Afghan soldiers appears to be in limbo after it was revealed that the UK government did not pay heed to the call for “urgent help” for 32 former governors and officials who worked with the UK and US in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

BBC report claims soldiers stuck in Pakistan are being refused relocation

BBC reported that it obtained a private letter sent in March 2022 to the Foreign Office seeking help for these officials who had applied for relocation to the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Programme (Arap). The scheme is for officials employed by the UK government or those who worked alongside one of its departments.

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Many of the officials and soldiers were rejected, while others are still waiting for a decision after more than a year.

One of the Afghan special forces soldiers, whom BBC identified as Ali, said he was living in a single room with his wife and five kids as Pakistani authorities cracked down on illegal foreign nationals.

The report added that not only the former Afghan special forces personnel but also Afghan civilians who helped the UK were “left in the cold”.

Mohammad Fahim, a former governor of Helmand’s Garmsir district, told media that the Afghan Taliban know “we were fighting together with the international forces, so the threat to me is real.”

Meanwhile, the UK’s Ministry of Defence told media that around 24,600 people have been brought to safety.

“Each Arap application is assessed individually and in accordance with published policy, and we do not automatically make a decision on eligibility based on a job role,” media reported while quoting a ministry’s spokesperson.

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