Afghan translators who helped our troops on the battlefield and are stuck in refugee camps could settle in UK under new Ministry of Defence plan
- Ex-military translators who fled Taliban death threats are to be safely relocated
- Up to 20 former translators are trapped in Europe, India, Pakistan and Australia
- Initially, interpreters were told to return to Afghanistan to submit application to come to the UK
- Ben Wallace’s move marks victory for Daily Mail’s Betrayal of the Brave campaign
Former UK military translators who fled Taliban death threats in Afghanistan and are now trapped in other countries are expected to be allowed to seek refuge in Britain.
In a major breakthrough for men who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with British troops, the Ministry of Defence is exploring ways for them to relocate to the UK from other countries.
It will mean they no longer face returning to Afghanistan to submit an application to come to this country – a journey which, for many, is simply too dangerous.
The move by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is a victory for the Daily Mail’s Betrayal of the Brave campaign, which has highlighted the plight of ex-interpreters in so-called ‘third countries’.
Up to 20 former translators are trapped, mainly across Europe but also in India, Pakistan and Australia, according to estimates.
Former UK military translators who fled Taliban death threats in Afghanistan and are now trapped in other countries are expected to be allowed to seek refuge in Britain
Only a small number have so far been told they would qualify for sanctuary.
Many fled Taliban death threats and attacks after being told they did not qualify for relocation under previous UK government policies.
But now they are likely to be included under the revised Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.
It is expected to see hundreds of interpreters currently in Afghanistan approved for sanctuary with their families.
Under the new arrangements translators in ‘third countries’ would have their paperwork processed at a British Embassy before travelling to the UK.
Many fled Taliban death threats and attacks after being told they did not qualify for relocation under previous UK government policies
The first group of around 50 interpreters and their families have already been placed on standby to fly to Britain.
Hundreds more cases are still being processed.
The move comes as the Taliban announced yesterday that interpreters should show ‘remorse’ for their actions in assisting so-called occupying forces in Afghanistan.
A post on Twitter by its ‘Commission for Cultural Affairs’ described their activities as treasonous but insisted interpreters would not be harmed following the withdrawal of international troops.
The pledge flies in the face of reality as at least five coalition translators have been murdered this year and former UK interpreters have been attacked.
The Taliban said: ‘As foreign forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan Afghans who worked alongside them also seek to flee the country and are fearful.
‘None should desert the country.
‘The Islamic Emirate will not perturb them, but calls for them to return to their normal lives and if they have expertise to serve their country. They shall not be in any danger on our part.’
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