(MENAFN) The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence has recently received criticism for requiring Afghan citizens who had worked with the UK during the United States-led NATO occupation of Afghanistan to have their papers approved by the Taliban before being allowed to apply for resettlement in Britain. This policy was revealed by the Independent, which reported that 37 applicants to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Police (ARAP) program, a scheme created to provide relocation assistance to individuals who had worked directly with the British military during the conflict, were told to have their documents certified by Afghan government departments, which have since been run by the Taliban after the group took over in 2021 amid the hasty withdrawal of NATO forces.
This policy has been considered highly problematic as those individuals who were seen as enemies by the Taliban could not have their documents certified by them, which essentially amounted to "asking them to sign their own death warrant," according to a United Kingdom lawmaker who spoke to the Independent. The UK government initially denied that any such instructions had been given to the applicants for weeks, but later admitted to the error and issued an unreserved apology for the matter.
The government spokesperson said that there would be an investigation into how such life-threatening orders had been given, and a review would be conducted to identify any additional actions needed to strengthen policies and processes. The incident has raised concerns about the United Kingdom's treatment of its Afghan allies and has led to calls for the government to take immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of those who had worked with them during the conflict.
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