A former British special forces interpreter begged Britain to save his family after the Taliban knocked on his door in Kabul.
Afghan translator Habib said her family was only saved by the quick wit of her 11-year-old daughter, who refused to let the activists in as they pretended to be her friends.
After learning of last week’s ordeal, a former British commander in Afghanistan called the treatment of some former military interpreters “disgrace”.
British soldier with former Afghan interpreter Habib, who is waiting to see if he will be granted refuge in the United Kingdom. He worked in a British and Afghan special forces task force and now faces death threats. Habib escaped ambushes twice
In scathing criticism of the Defense Ministry, Major General Charlie Herbert said more people needed to be brought to safety – and quickly – as those who risked their lives alongside British troops are in “Borrowed time” and face death threats.
Commenting on the UK’s decision to withdraw from the country after 20 years, along with the US, he said: “Leaving Afghanistan without a political settlement is misjudged, but leaving without our former interpreters and our local staff is immoral. . “
He said the Defense Ministry must not leave behind the “remarkable Afghans who have served us so brilliantly, and often with such sacrifice.”
Frank criticism from a former senior officer with considerable experience in Afghanistan is rare.
Mr. Herbert personally tried to help Habib, who worked for the British forces for 16 months. The ex-translator, who has another 14-year-old daughter, said: “I was afraid they would break down the door and kill us. It was the Taliban, two men armed with AK47s …
“If the British don’t act quickly and save us, the Taliban will follow through on threats to send me and my daughters to hell.
“They’re only chasing me because of my work for the British.
The 39-year-old, who worked with the elite “Triple Four” task force at Camp Juno in Helmand, is among a dozen translators in the unit who are waiting to see if they will be allowed to take refuge in Great Britain.
They had previously been told that they were not eligible because, unlike most Afghan interpreters, they were not employed by the British government but directly by British special forces. Two weeks ago, Bashir, 33, one of Habib’s ex-colleagues, survived an assassination attempt after finding a bomb under his vehicle. At least five former translators have been murdered by insurgents this year, and more than a dozen have survived attacks.
The Daily Mail’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign shed light on the stories of several Camp Juno translators, who fear being left behind despite being involved in some of the most dangerous operations of the time.
The cases are being re-examined as part of the changes introduced by Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, but Habib and his colleagues fear time is running out with the Taliban making huge gains.
In a scathing criticism from the Department of Defense, Major General Charlie Herbert, pictured, said more asylum – and quickly – was needed as those who risked their lives alongside British troops are in “borrowed time” and face death threats
Praising the Mail’s campaign, Mr. Herbert, former NATO adviser in Afghanistan, said: “The failure to relocate Habib and his colleagues will almost certainly result in their tragic and unnecessary deaths. “
A spokesperson for the government, which is expected to provide refuge to 3,500 Afghans, said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the locally employed Afghan personnel who risked their lives working alongside British forces…
“We have so far transferred over 1,500 local Afghan employees and their families to the UK, with thousands more to follow in the coming months. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis and treated with kindness. ‘