‘I lost hope, I lost everything’: Former Afghan interpreter left behind by UK speaks to RT

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The UK government has abandoned people who worked for the Brits in Afghanistan, a former embassy translator has told RT. The Afghan man is now on the run, fearing that the Taliban would ultimately find and kill him and his family.

The former interpreter, using the alias ‘Said,’ spoke to RT as the deadline for foreign forces to leave Afghanistan was set to expire, and after the US and UK forces officially had wrapped up their withdrawal. Said used to work as a patrolling translator for British security forces at the UK’s Kabul Embassy and was eligible for getting evacuated. However, unable to reach the Kabul airport without outside help, he was ultimately left behind by the UK government.

The abrupt collapse of the Afghan government had apparently caught London by surprise, leaving the local employees of the UK wondering if it actually had any plan to extract them, Said told RT.

We had a lot of faith in the UK government because it’s a powerful government. We never thought that we would be in this situation one day. I don’t know why they did it to us, why they did this to us, why they left us without protection, without any plan.

While the man has applied for visas for himself and his family, he barely managed to secure approval only for his wife and himself. His parents, whom Said believes to be in danger as well, had their applications rejected.

“First they rejected my asylum case, then after they accepted my case they sent me an email approval, but what should I do with this email? This email will not help me with anything,” Said said.

Said did not elaborate on why his case was initially turned down, but the UK’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) originally rejected applications from former local employees who had been dismissed from service. The policy has repeatedly come under criticism and was revised over the past few months, with only those Afghans dismissed for “serious” or criminal offences disqualified from ARAP.

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The evacuation process proved to be extremely chaotic, and Said says the UK government did effectively nothing to rescue him except for producing more paperwork. The former translator and his family failed to reach the airport, as they were turned away by the Taliban militants patrolling its vicinity.

We had a movement order from the British government, they told us to go to the airport. We couldn’t even touch the gate because the Taliban checkpoint was there and they were beating people. The help is like saying something, and doing another thing.

Despite the repeated promises by the Taliban to not persecute Afghans who’d worked for foreign nations and the ousted government, Said is now on the run in fear for his life. The militants have already “occupied” his home as they conducted house-to-house searches to find collaborators, he claimed.

It’s almost one week [since] I don’t have any shelter.. I keep changing my place. I lost hope, I lost everything.

Said’s work as a translator has become a sort-of social stigma, with Afghans now wary of even talking to the man and others like him. “We’re cursed, we’re abandoned now. If they [Afghans] help us, they believe that the Taliban will kill them also. That’s why they’re not even talking with us,” he said.

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