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‘I was expecting the government’s help’: British taxi driver stuck in Afghanistan | Afghanistan

Nasir*, 43, is a British citizen, stuck in Jalalabad along with his six-year-old son, additionally a British citizen, and his spouse, who’s an Afghan nationwide.

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Afghanistan: the left behind

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Afghanistan: the left behind

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The crowds preventing to get into Kabul airport for evacuation dispersed months ago,
however whereas the scramble to depart Taliban-controlled Afghanistan grew to become
much less seen when the final overseas troops left in August 2021, it received no
much less determined.

Since then, reprisal killings have usually been reported from throughout the nation, together with dozens detailed in a recent report from Human Rights Watch.

For these nonetheless in Afghanistan, residing in hiding or in everlasting worry for months now, the risks appear to be rising as the choices for escape slender.

The UK authorities has tightened rules for its ARAP visa programme for former workers.

A second scheme providing a path to security to a wider part of Afghans in danger was heavily promoted by the authorities however it solely began operating this month, and there are not any particulars of how people can apply.

And whereas the Taliban
have largely saved a promise to permit these with tickets and paperwork
to fly out, Afghan passports are troublesome to safe , visas are even
tougher, and flights are nonetheless prohibitively costly.

This
collection options the tales of those that are trapped, in Afghanistan or
in limbo as they seek for protected haven, fearing for his or her lives from
Taliban assaults or by way of starvation as a result of they can not work.

Emma Graham-Harrison

Thanks on your suggestions.

I moved to the UK as a refugee in 2000, as a result of I was having lots of issues with the Taliban, and I had been arrested, so I knew it was time to depart. I claimed asylum in Britain and have lived there for about 21 years. To start with I labored as a bike mechanic, after which as a pizza supply driver, and later for Addison Lee and after that as an Uber driver. I’ve been supporting my mum and my sisters in Afghanistan for years, sending a refund. I’ve been spending six months in the UK incomes cash and 6 months with my household in Afghanistan.

I received married in Jalalabad and we had a son in 2015. I’ve been making an attempt to maneuver my spouse to London with me since then; I was right here with them in the summer season as the Taliban superior. I instructed the Overseas Workplace in July that I wanted to depart urgently with my spouse and son. They issued a visa waiver so my spouse may journey, and we had been capable of ebook flights to London.

Sadly the Taliban arrived in Kabul earlier than our departure date, and the flights had been cancelled. I was instructed to journey to Kabul airport to get on a British evacuation flight however we couldn’t get wherever close to the gates.

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It’s a harmful time to be right here as a British citizen. The Taliban got here to my home and requested for me after I wasn’t there; they arrested an in depth member of the family and he was imprisoned for just a few days. I known as the Overseas Workplace to inform them, however they mentioned there’s nothing we are able to do for you.

I really feel scared and I was expecting the British authorities to assist me. I went into hiding for some time. I’ve tried asking Overseas Workplace workers if my spouse’s visa waiver remains to be legitimate, however nobody appears to know. They simply say: you want to await the new Afghan resettlement programme to open and there are not any clear particulars on when that shall be.

My son needs to be in college, however at the second we’re not letting him out of the home as a result of he’s a kidnap goal. Individuals suppose British residents are wealthy, and there’s an actual threat he could possibly be kidnapped. I’m getting increasingly more into debt the longer I’m right here as a result of there’s no work. Up to now I owe buddies about $10,000 (£7,300).

Individuals are struggling; the solely work is in retailers or driving taxis. It is rather miserable and it’s additionally very harmful. On a regular basis in Jalalabad there are studies of Isis attacking the Taliban. I’ve by no means seen a state of affairs like this earlier than.

It’s breaking my coronary heart that I haven’t been helped by Britain to depart. I’m in contact with over 200 different British passport holders who’re stuck like me, and we’re messaging one another most days, looking for out if there’s any information.

About 15 have managed to get again to Britain, however they’re the ones who didn’t have wives or kids right here, they had been simply again visiting mother and father. I consider Britain as my very own nation, however I’m being handled like a second-class citizen. I really feel very let down.

A UK authorities spokesperson mentioned it couldn’t touch upon particular person instances, however added: “The UK has supported over 3,000 individuals to depart Afghanistan since the finish of Operation Pitting, together with over 1,200 British nationals and eligible dependants. We proceed to do all we are able to to assist remaining British nationals and their eligible relations to security. A fiance, companion, and youngsters underneath the age of 18 are capable of be a part of a British nationwide or settled particular person in the UK, supplied they meet the necessities underneath the household guidelines.”

*The title has been modified for this text.

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