Speed up Afghan relocation backlog, 'planless' PM told
The Independent|August 13, 2023
Around 18,000 unique applications for Afghans who say they worked alongside British troops are still waiting to be processed under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap).
HOLLY BANCROFT, ADAM FORREST, KATE DEVLIN
Speed up Afghan relocation backlog, 'planless' PM told

And 3,400 Afghan men, women and children who have already been approved for relocation under the Ministry of Defence scheme remain stranded in the country in the grips of a Taliban crackdown or have been left to languish in hotels in Pakistan. The failure to act flies in the face of the government’s 2021 pledge to “shift heaven and earth” to move people out of Afghanistan, prompting multiple calls for Rishi Sunak to personally intervene.

Revenge killings, arrests and disappearances under Afghanistan’s rulers have left those who worked with the British in fear for their lives, while those stuck in Pakistan are scared to leave their hotels because their visas have started to run out. General Lord Richards, the former chief of defence staff, said the government’s lack of action was “beyond the pale” and he urged the prime minister to “sort this out personally”.

Labour MP and former soldier in Afghanistan Dan Jarvis called on Rishi Sunak to “get a grip, get a plan and get these brave men and women to safety”, while General Sir John McColl, the army’s former deputy supreme allied commander for Europe, said the government seemed to have “no plan” for how they would relocate these people. He said the government’s requirement that Afghans eligible for relocation should find their own accommodation in the UK before they are moved was “an extraordinary ask” that “they know is impossible”.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, former head of the British army, said the process of getting entitled people to the UK should be “sped up”, and Lord Alf Dubs – a child refugee who fled the Nazis before the Second World War – said it would be a “disgrace to ignore people we’ve promised to help”.

This story is from the August 13, 2023 edition of The Independent.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 9,000+ magazines and newspapers.

This story is from the August 13, 2023 edition of The Independent.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 9,000+ magazines and newspapers.

MORE STORIES FROM THE INDEPENDENTView All
'Before I got back to diving, it was my plan - be involved in some journalistic way'
The Independent

'Before I got back to diving, it was my plan - be involved in some journalistic way'

Tom Daley tells Will Jennings he has already won in Paris before his first dive... by competing and commentating

time-read
2 mins  |
July 20, 2024
Maiden century by Hodge leads West Indies fightback
The Independent

Maiden century by Hodge leads West Indies fightback

Kavem Hodge and Alick Athanaze led a West Indies revival as they finished a sunny second day of the second test on 351-5, 65 runs behind England at Trent Bridge on yesterday.

time-read
1 min  |
July 20, 2024
F1 season sparks into life with four-way team battle
The Independent

F1 season sparks into life with four-way team battle

It's Saturday night in Bahrain, March 2024. Away from the hullabaloo of paddock gossip and the Red Bull soap opera, the world champions had blown away the field - again - on their more comfortable field of racing tarmac.

time-read
3 mins  |
July 20, 2024
Lowry leads British Open with Scheffler on the hunt
The Independent

Lowry leads British Open with Scheffler on the hunt

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson miss the cut

time-read
3 mins  |
July 20, 2024
What the industry thinks of Labour's new housing plans
The Independent

What the industry thinks of Labour's new housing plans

A new government means a new target for building homes - but developers have heard it all before, says Chris Blackhurst

time-read
4 mins  |
July 20, 2024
If museums start returning their items, where will it end?
The Independent

If museums start returning their items, where will it end?

All parents recall the training they tried to instil in their young children around the concept of sharing. The calm interventions when two go to war over one toy; the sense of panic in one that the other may waddle off with its plastic treasure toddlers

time-read
3 mins  |
July 20, 2024
Trump's message isn't one of unity, whatever he might say
The Independent

Trump's message isn't one of unity, whatever he might say

It is hard to decide which is the best moniker to apply to him after this strange but magnificent political week for Donald Trump - is he the martyr of Milwaukee, or the messiah of Milwaukee? In the eyes of the faithful - and given the quasi-religious devotion he is now attracting - it is both.

time-read
3 mins  |
July 20, 2024
Gershkovich jailed for 16 years for 'spying' in Russia
The Independent

Gershkovich jailed for 16 years for 'spying' in Russia

US journalist Evan Gershkovich has been jailed for 16 years in a Russian prison on \"politically motivated\" charges of espionage.

time-read
2 mins  |
July 20, 2024
Israel presence in occupied territory 'unlawful', says UN
The Independent

Israel presence in occupied territory 'unlawful', says UN

The top United Nations court has ruled that Israel's presence in the Palestinian-occupied territories is \"unlawful\" and called for it to end. The court pointed to the building and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, its annexation and imposition of permanent control over lands, and discriminatory policies against Palestinians.

time-read
3 mins  |
July 20, 2024
Trump's 'bizarre, boring' speech good for Democrats
The Independent

Trump's 'bizarre, boring' speech good for Democrats

Donald Trump's campaign spent the better part of four days promising a changed Trump - a more solemn, thoughtful man, whose politics were forever altered by a would-be assassin's bullet. That image was shattered over 93 minutes on Thursday night.

time-read
2 mins  |
July 20, 2024