• Saturday, June 25, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

UK to announce plans for asylum-seeking Afghans soon

Afghan people climb atop a plane as they wait at the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

BRITAIN on Monday (16) announced it will soon launch a resettlement scheme for Afghans amid growing pressure to create a safe route for refugees from Afghanistan as the Taliban seized control of the country on Sunday (15).

 

The government’s resettlement plans for asylum-seeking Afghans will be separate from the UK’s asylum system, claimed media reports citing Downing Street sources, adding that the plan is likely to be similar to a programme that brought Syrians from refugee camps to Britain.

“That means providing whatever support we can to the Afghan people who have worked so hard to make the country a better place over the last 20 years and who are now in need of our help,” the spokesperson said.

Downing Street also said no target has been set “for the moment” on the number of refugees from Afghanistan that could be granted asylum in Britain in the longer term, stressing that the government wanted to work with international leaders to agree on a “unified approach”, reports said.

Britain’s government has been criticised in the past by opposition politicians, aid agencies and some members of the judiciary for failing to take in what they say is “enough refugees” during an earlier migrant crisis in Europe, reports said.

For now, British soldiers are working amid chaotic scenes in Kabul to help evacuate UK nationals and allies- those Afghan citizens who worked for the British government- after thousands descended on the airport in a bid to flee the country.

Britain last month withdrew most of its 750 remaining troops but is now sending a total of 900 soldiers back in the coming days to help with repatriations.

Officials are aiming to take 1,200 to 1,500 people from Afghanistan a day, attempting to evacuate around 4,000 British nationals and eligible Afghans out of Kabul in the coming days, reports said.

About 370 embassy staff and others have flown to the UK over the weekend.

Meanwhile, UK prime minister Boris Johnson plans to host a virtual meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven nations in the coming days to discuss how to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a source of international terrorist threats, and how to support the people there.

He spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday and plans to speak to other world leaders in the coming days, reports said.

 

 

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