Afghan asylum seekers will be permitted to enter the UK without a passport, according to British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace. On Monday he said the government wants to make it easier for interpreters and contractors who supported Western forces to seek asylum in the UK.
Ahead of the final withdrawal of US troops, the Taliban entered the capital Kabul over the weekend and seized power. President Ashraf Ghani left the country on Sunday saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed.
Wallace also said that he and the Home Secretary Priti Patel were working together to help Afghans escape. Speaking to Sky News, Wallace said: “We are processing as fast as we can, and where there are rules that we need to change, we are changing those rules.”
He said the plan was to ferry them “out from Afghanistan to a Middle East country and then back to the United Kingdom, so we can keep the flow of aeroplanes, in and out.”
Wallace said major airlifting operations are underway with the government was planning to fly out 1,500 more people from Afghanistan over the next two days.
The Defense Secretary also acknowledged that many officials will be left behind unless they can make it to Kabul where the Taliban have reportedly agreed to allow embassy staff to extract.
Wallace also said that the government was planning to fly out 1,500 more people from Afghanistan over the next two days, AP reported.
According to Reuters, military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan resumed early on Tuesday after the runway at Kabul airport was cleared of thousands of people desperate to flee after the Taliban seized the capital.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press quoted British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as saying that the British government is planning an “open-hearted” and “bespoke” asylum policy for Afghan citizens.
The details, Raab said, will be set out soon by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
British officials are calling in people to go to the vicinity of the airport as and when a flight becomes available for them, reported Reuters on Tuesday. There, they have to be allowed through into the airport grounds by the Taliban. Once inside, British officials undertake the necessary security checks before taking them to the airfield where they await their flight back to the UK.
Britain is seeking to evacuate 4,000 UK nationals and Afghan allies who have helped over the past 20 years.