Photo: LPhot Ben Shread/MoD, OGL v1.0

Prominent British figures urge PM Sunak to help Afghanistanis stranded in Pakistan

A group of prominent current and former British political and security figures have raised concerns about the fate of at-risk Afghanistanis stranded in Pakistan.

In a letter to Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, the group, which includes General David Richards, General Sir John McColl, General Richard Dannatt, Lord Robertson, Dan Jarvis MP, and Rory Stewart, said that 21,387 people from Afghanistan have been relocated to the UK since the fall of the country, but “a cohort has been ignored and forgotten.”

According to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) estimate, the letter says, 2,725 people who qualify to be resettled in the UK “remain in grave danger in Afghanistan awaiting movement to third countries (almost exclusively to Pakistan) and as of the 6th June, 1,953 are in holding centres in Pakistan.”

“A govermental decision has been taken to stop flights from Pakistan. Destitute Afghans are being told to find their own accommodation in the U.K, navigating an impenetrable bureaucratic maze without any support. Movement to Pakistan from Afghanistan continues. In a year’s time there could be almost 4,000 Afghans stranded in Pakistan.”

Posting the letter on Twitter, Dan Jarvis MP, who served in Afghanistan as a soldier, said: “After Afghanistan fell, the UK Govt promised to relocate the Afghans who bravely served with us. They are failing on this obligation & there’s no plan to get those Afghans left behind to safety. We must not renege on our debt of honour to them.”

The letter further adds that currently 1,953 people are stuck in Pakistan in limbo and the numbers are growing. Some of the people have been there for over a year.

The signatories urge Sunak and his government to establish a central focus to help the applicants, either independently or within the Cabinet Office.