1000s of Afghans who helped UK forces remain stranded

KABUL (TOLONews): The UK House of Commons Defense Committee released a report on Afghanistan’s withdrawal, in which it highlighted the Doha agreement and fall of the former Afghan government; the evacuation and relocation of eligible Afghans; mental health of veterans and learning lessons from Afghanistan. The report was chaired by the Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood.
The report said that several thousand eligible Afghans– whose safety is by definition at risk in Afghanistan–still remain to be evacuated under the ARAP (Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy) over a year after the end of “Operation PITTING,” and it asked the government “to set out what action they are taking to ensure safe passage to the United Kingdom for these people.”
The report cited that in addition to the 5,000 ARAP-eligible individuals, including their family members, who were relocated to the UK during “Operation PITTING”, a further 6,600 individuals had been relocated under the scheme as of 3 November 2022. At this date, the report said that 72,269 applications were awaiting a decision.
According to the report, in the UK MOD’s (Ministry of Defense) judgement, the vast majority of these were likely to be ineligible:
“The MOD judged that the vast majority of these were likely to be ineligible. According to their estimates, approximately 4,600 ARAP-eligible Afghans (including dependents) had not yet been relocated to the UK. Some of these had successfully settled elsewhere and were not expected to take up the offer of relocation.”
The report also expressed concerns over Afghanistan’s situation, saying that the country faces “multiple inter-connected crises, from governance, to the humanitarian situation, to the exclusion of women and girls from society.” The reported quoted the words of one of a series of ‘one-year-on’ think pieces as:
“The plight of Afghans is worsening. The economic situation is dire, malnutrition rates are increasing, women’s rights are being curtailed, there is continuing migration and internal displacement, and the health care system is crumbling.” The report cited the UK’s MOD’s evidence about the Doha agreement, saying that it makes clear that the agreement limited options in relation to future presence in Afghanistan.
“The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defense, told us that the UK played no part in the Doha Agreement and criticized the agreement for withdrawing coalition ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and air support and, in doing so, removing from the battlefield,” it said.