Afghanistan: British man's anguish as family were eligible to return to UK but missed out on flight out of Kabul

·2-min read

The human cost of Britain's withdrawal from Afghanistan will be felt by those who were eligible to return to the UK but did not make it on to flights out of Kabul. 

It is unclear exactly how many eligible people remain, but among them are the family of a man called Mohammad, whose name has been changed to protect his identity.

He is originally from Afghanistan but is now a British citizen after fleeing the Taliban more than 20 years ago and resettling in the UK.

His three children, who are British nationals, are stuck in Kabul, along with Mohammad's wife and mother. He says his children "need to be in the UK'' and that they have "the same rights as other kids in the UK but nobody is bothered about them".

His family live in the north of the country and before this month's Taliban takeover Mohammad split his time between Afghanistan and the UK, as he does business in both countries.

His wife, three young children, and elderly mother, made the journey to Kabul to try to make it on to an evacuation flight.

They received an email from the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) telling them to go to a safe house near the airport to be processed. After spending three days in the airport scrum, they received another email from the government telling them to leave the area because of the risk of a terror attack.

Since then, says Mohammad, they have been unable to get answers about how, when or whether they will be evacuated to the UK. He has been unable to bring himself to speak to his children for two days because, he says: "I cannot answer their questions. My daughter is asking me 'daddy, what are you doing?' The flights are going to be closed and we will be left behind."

In a statement on Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "Although our immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan has now concluded, the UK will continue to provide help to any remaining British nationals and Afghans who have supported us and who we were not able to evacuate over the last fortnight."

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