UK accelerates plans to resettle Afghan translators

Plans to rapidly relocate hundreds more Afghans who worked for the British military and UK government, mostly as interpreters, have been announced, the BBC reported.

More than 3,000 Afghans, including family members, are expected to be allowed to settle in the UK, joining 1,300 who have already done so.

This comes amid a foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and rising concern that the Afghan translators’ lives will be at risk once the international forces have left.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said it was “only right” to accelerate plans.

He said those being relocated were those that might otherwise “be at risk of reprisals” from the Taliban.

According to BBC, Home Secretary, Priti Patel described the move as “a moral obligation”.

In a statement, the UK government said: “Following the decision to begin the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan, the prime minister has agreed with the Ministry of Defence, Home Office and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to rapidly accelerate applications through the policy.”

It is not yet clear precisely how many Afghans will be relocated to the UK, but the government says it is expecting more than 3,000 to be resettled.

Wallace told the BBC that “with Western powers leaving, the threat is increasing, including targeted attacks by the Taliban”.

He said those who worked for the British had “sacrificed a lot to look after us and now is the time to do the same”.

Ms Patel said: “It’s our moral obligation to recognise the risks they faced in the fight against terrorism and reward their efforts.

“I’m pleased that we are meeting this fully, by providing them and their families the opportunity to build a new life in this country.”