Johnson announces massive aid for Afghans accepted into UK
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes his country is indebted to its former local Afghan staff after the chaotic end of the international military operation in Afghanistan.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes his country is indebted to its former local Afghan staff after the chaotic end of the international military operation in Afghanistan. “We are very grateful to those serving in our military in Afghanistan,” Johnson said on Wednesday. He was intent on supporting local workers and their families so they could “build a life here in the UK”.
Johnson’s government has announced that it will grant permanent residence permits to 8,000 local Afghan workers in the British army who have already left Afghanistan. In addition, 15 million pounds (about 17.5 million euros) will be made available for additional places in schools and to improve access to the health system.
The government said the measures would give Afghans recognized in the UK “certainty and stability” to build a life in the UK. The ‘unrestricted’ right to work therefore applies, and there is also ‘the possibility in the future for people to apply for British citizenship’.
However, there is also heavy criticism of the British evacuation of Afghans. The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed government member who accused London of not rescuing enough people from Afghanistan. “I think we could have taken out 800 to 1,000 more people,” the cabinet member said.
Prior to this, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had come under fire for not cutting his vacation immediately after the Islamist extremist Taliban movement came to power. This Wednesday, Raab faces questioning by the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
The chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, spoke of a difficult two weeks in the past in which many Britons felt “outrage, shame and disbelief as well”. “We never thought we would see the day when NATO forces led by the United States would turn their backs on the Afghan people,” he added. The RAP survey will deal with central questions about the international withdrawal of forces. “How will we deal with the Taliban? How will Afghanistan affect our regional strategy? How will the government hold the Taliban accountable for any decline in human rights?”
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