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BC urges staff in Afghanistan to contact UK gov’t

A number of former employees of the British Council in Afghanistan have relocated to the UK under the ministry of defence’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme, but the international cultural and educational organisation is urging others still in the country to contact UK authorities.

The British Council said the safety of all those involved in its work is of "utmost concern". Photo: Unsplash

"We are working closely with the ministry of defence to explore every possible avenue of support available"

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s World at One, a former British Council employee still in Afghanistan said there is a risk to his life and he is yet to hear back following his application to the scheme a month ago.

“Everyone knows who I was and who I was working with. In that time, I knew that I was not able to visit my village because there were a lot of insurgents… and by the words of them, they say, we were supporting infidels and we are spying for them and things like that,” he said.

The individual – not named in order to protect his identity – has not received either a commitment letter or a promise having applied to ARAP.

“I feel worrisom. I feel very under pressure,” he said.

“If I lose my life, that’s not a problem but I have three daughters and one wife and I have no one else to support them”

“If you put yourself in my shoes, how do you think? How would you think? The Taliban are going around our home, going everywhere. And I have already received some notifications, some warnings from them.

“I have cried a lot. I don’t cry because I lost my salary or other things. But I cry for my family. I don’t care about myself. If I lose my life, that’s not a problem but I have three daughters and one wife and I have no one else to support them. And if I die who will be there to support them? I am quite sure that the people that I know who work with the British Council, everyone is in the same kind of situation.”

The British Council said the safety of all those involved in its work is of “utmost concern”.

“A number of current and former colleagues have been successful under the ARAP scheme, which is managed by the ministry of defence in the UK, and have been relocated from Afghanistan to the UK,” a spokesperson told The PIE.

“While the British Council is not involved in the ARAP decision making process, we are working closely with the ministry of defence to explore every possible avenue of support available to ensure that ARAP applications of all former and current colleagues receive the fullest consideration possible and are expedited.”

The British Council was attacked in 2011 by the Taliban. More than 100,000 people have now signed a petition urging the UK government to assist those who have been employed by the British Council in the country.

Anyone involved with British Council’s work in the country should contact the new Afghan Threat and Risk Evaluation Unit in the British Embassy Kabul, as set out within the guidance for the ARAP scheme, it added.

“We have deep concern not only for our colleagues and those we have worked with over the last 20 years, but for all the people of Afghanistan.”

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6 Responses to BC urges staff in Afghanistan to contact UK gov’t

  1. To Whom It May Concern: I have worked as a senior engineering advisor for AAD (Afghanaid) a UK funded organization for more then two years. Besid, I have worked for USACE as projeck manager for more then 3 years as well. Right now my live is in risk here in Afghanistan therefore, you are kindly requested to help me to immigarate to a country for safety of my live. Upon contact to me I could provide you more information and my work documents . . Best regards, Mohammad Wali Hairan

  2. I am a former employee of the British Council, I have worked as British Council ELC (English Language Center) manager between 1 November 2016To 31/March/2018 for the TDC and ERC project.
    During my work with British Council, I engaged with different categories of people in provinces from MoE and teachers & students from local schools, we were the representatives of the British Council in provinces and we engaged with different schools’ teachers, schools’ principles, and DoE officials across the province. This included visits and meeting with the DoE on Behalf of BC and visiting schools in different areas for program M&E. We also conducted different events like graduation ceremonies for teachers where different high profile attendees from DoE.

    As an ERC manager, I was also engaging local shopkeepers/ retailers, whole-sellers, and taxi drivers while doing small, medium, and large-size procurement for program delivery in provinces.

    My engagement with the above stakeholders exposed my work with British Council, and now with the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the increase in security incidents, I’m very worried about the well-being and safety of my family and myself hence, I call you to be our vice.

  3. Hi!
    I am Wasilkhan I worked with UK more then four years, two months ago I run away with my family from Nangarhar province because the Taliban are threat me. And we are not safe! And we must to get out from Afghanistan, I had worked with two famous companies with UK. Please help us.

  4. I am former afghan INTERPRETER for british forces in helmand province. NOW MY FAMILY LIVES ARE AT HIGH SECURITY RISK because I served the British forces in Afghanistan.
    My brother TAWAB was killed in kabul air port because suicide bomb attacked on August 2021.
    For no reason by Her majesty’s government we are left behind.

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