An intelligence briefing for the UN says the Taliban are stepping up the search for “collaborators”. However, more anti-Taliban protests have taken place in several cities, reports BBC.
‘My family are in hiding because I served the British’
I’ve just been speaking to an Afghan interpreter who worked for British forces during combat in Afghanistan. Ali (names have been changed to protect identities) fled several years ago after being threatened by the Taliban. His family are in hiding.
The UK government has now given Ali permission to resettle in the UK, but his parents and siblings have not been given visas. He desperately wants them to be evacuated and fears they will be killed.
This is what he told me: “One night a stranger in the street called my name. He was in the Taliban and he said he knew I was working for the British. It was very shocking for me. They knew everything about me. He said, ‘You know what will happen to you.’
“After that, I fled and became a refugee in a nearby country. I haven’t seen my mum, dad, or my brothers for years. I sold my family’s jewellery to survive.
“Now that the Taliban have taken power, my relatives have gone into hiding because of threats to our family – the Taliban are knocking on the door of their house.
“I’ve now been given permission to settle in the UK, but what about my family?
“I was listening to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in parliament on Wednesday – he said Britain is giving 20,000 visas to Afghans. To whom are they giving the visas?
“I served with the forces, I am proud that I served with them. My family are in danger, but they are not giving my family the visas. So who will get the visas? Will it be film stars or politicians? They have enough money to settle anywhere in the world. I thought, why are they not helping interpreters who served alongside UK forces?
“I can’t be happy that I have permission to go to the UK while I’m worried about my mum, dad, brothers who are hiding because of my service.
“I never demanded in the past that the UK help my family but now if I go, how can I sleep at night? How long can my family hide?”
G7 urges Taliban to allow safe passage out of Afghanistan
The G7 foreign ministers on Thursday called on the Taliban to honour their commitments to safe passage out of the country, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in the group’s first formal statement on the crisis in Afghanistan.
The ministers are “deeply concerned by reports of violent reprisals in parts of Afghanistan”, Raab said in the statement.
“The G7 are continuing efforts to do everything possible to evacuate vulnerable persons from Kabul airport and call on all parties to continue to facilitate that,” he added.
The US military has said it is in “constant communication” with the Taliban regarding evacuations, with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby saying today that Taliban agreement was necessary to the ongoing mission.
Taliban ‘carrying out highly organised manhunt’
The Taliban are carrying out a highly-organised door-to-door hunt for people on their wanted list, says the head of the group providing intelligence to the UN.
“What we have seen is that the Taliban, in advance of moving into all major cities in Afghanistan, not just Kabul, is that they have a more advanced intelligence system,” Christian Nellemann, of the Norwegian Centre for Global Analyses, told the BBC.
“They have lists of individuals and even within the very first hours of moving into Kabul they began a search of former government employees – especially in intelligence services and the special forces units.”
He said that not only could this lead to mass executions, but also a “mass revealing of our methods and the intelligence networks that the West has provided. So this could undermine severely a number of our Western intelligence services.”
As we reported earlier, the Norwegian Centre for Global Analyses’ report to the UN also said the Taliban are recruiting new informer networks to collaborate with their regime.