The first group of Afghan “interpreters” is due to arrive in the UK later today under a new and more permissive government scheme.
According to the Daily Mail (June 22), more than a dozen former “interpreters” and their families will be among those flying to an airport in the Midlands later today.
The group will first depart Kabul on a ten-hour flight to a European city, where they are expected to undergo additional security and medical checks.
They will then be transferred to another plane operated by a “well-known” British travel company that will fly them to an unnamed airport in the Midlands.
The evacuation has been hyped as the “largest” undertaken from a “hostile environment” since 1972, when thousands of people of mostly Indian descent were moved to the UK after Uganda’s then leader Idi Amin called for their expulsion.
Overall 3,000 Afghans are set to be evacuated to the UK in the coming weeks and months, on top of the 1,300 who have already arrived in Britain under a previous, more restrictive policy.
Many of the Afghans who have been identified as “interpreters” in fact undertook a variety of covert and clandestine tasks for the British military in Afghanistan, including spying on their local communities.
For that reason they fear being targeted by the Taliban and other militant groups.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense (Mod) has declined to comment on the evacuation flights which are set to be completed by early September.