Afghan translators urge Government to rescue them after Taliban resurgence as it emerges the US plans to resume mercy flights out of Kabul
- Many Afghan interpreters have been forced into hiding since the Taliban took over
- They have been frustrated at the UK’s inability to rescue them after the US plans to resume mercy flights
- The MoD says it is continuing to do all it can to support ‘those who have supported us’
Afghan interpreters left behind by the British are increasingly frustrated at the UK’s inability to rescue them as the US plans to resume mercy flights.
Many translators who had worked alongside our troops have been forced into hiding since the Taliban took over two months ago.
But while they get messages from the UK asking for patience, they have seen individuals affiliated to America leave.
At least nine mercy flights have left the Afghan capital but former British translators have been unable to secure seats.
The US veteran-organised journeys have put pressure on Washington to put its own flights in place, which it now plans to do. ‘As soon as we have the right combination of documentation and logistics, we will get going again,’ a senior official told the Wall Street Journal.
Last night Hussain, a 48-year-old translator who recently left his home after receiving death threats, questioned the UK’s failure to announce a similar commitment to resume flights.
Former Afghan interpreters previously protested in front of the Home Office, demanding evacuations from Kabul continue
‘I’m frustrated. How is it other countries can fly out those who worked for them but the UK can’t – or can’t commit – to doing so?’ he asked.
‘Why are we the last? Each week Afghanistan becomes more dangerous, more of those who worked for foreign forces are being found and punished. One day it will be our turn. We can’t be lucky forever.’
The US State Department plans to get evacuation flights from Kabul up and running again before Christmas, having forced the Western withdrawal in August.
America will look to airlift US citizens, residents and those who aided its military during the last 20 years but failed to make it out before the Taliban seized complete control. The move, which follows intense negotiations with the new regime by US diplomats, has increased pressure on the UK Government to strike a similar deal.
Interpreter Aziz, 40, has been cleared to come to the UK but remains stuck and fearful. He said: ‘Time is running out for us. We feel forgotten. If the US can mount evacuations then we have to hope the British will rescue us by plane too. We don’t want to feel left behind again.’
America will look to airlift US citizens, residents and those who aided its military during the last 20 years but failed to make it out before the Taliban (pictured left) seized complete control
After what many translators with links to Britain say was a ‘long silence’, they are now being contacted by UK officials asking for updates on their locations, phone numbers and how they might be helped to escape. But one message they receive says: ‘The UK are working hard to secure safe evacuation out of Afghanistan for all those remaining approved applicants, but this takes time.
‘Please continue to remain patient and stay safe until the evacuation call up occurs.’
The Daily Mail’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign has long highlighted the plight of ex-interpreters.
An MoD spokesman said: ‘We will continue to do all we can to support those who have supported us, and our commitment to those who are eligible for relocation is not time-limited and will endure.’