The founder of the animal rescue charity Nowzad caught the country’s attention over the past week as he tried to evacuate his staff and the charity’s cats and dogs.
Writing on social media, he appealed directly to the Taliban, saying: “Dear Sir; my team and my animals are stranded in the airport circle. We have a flight pending. Can you please facilitate the safe passage through the airport for our convoy?
“Suhail Shaheen, we are an NGO coming back to Afghanistan, but for now I want to get everyone out to safety. “
He added: “We have been here 10 hours after being assured that we would have a safe passage. I would really like to come home now. Let us prove that the IEA takes a different path.
Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing, 57, said The sun that his pets will cook to death in their travel crates if they don’t get help soon.
He and his team made a midnight trip to the airport in a convoy after receiving advice from the Secretary of Defense that they could bring a private charter plane back to Britain.
However, they almost did not make it to the airport as they were stopped at a Taliban checkpoint. Mr Farthing said: “About 15 guys jumped up and pointed their guns at us. Then one of them had an ND [a negligent discharge]. Fortunately, he was shot and it went overhead.
“We now have hours before the animals start to die. There are some in the middle that we cannot reach and we cannot start unloading them because it will attract too much attention. It is getting really desperate, ”he said.
“We have permission to leave. We are in contact with the British forces but they say they are powerless to help.
Dr Iain McGill, a veterinarian struggling to get help for Mr Farthing and his animals, shared a video of workers spraying water through the bars of dogs’ cages to keep them hydrated in the stinging heat.
Speaking this morning, Armed Forces Minister James Heapey said that moving “many desperate Afghans” to allow Pen Farthing and his 200 rescue animals to get safely to the flight “doesn’t seem not be the right thing to do ”.
Sky News also reported that Defense Secretary Ben Wallace complained to MPs that British military efforts to evacuate people from Kabul had been “hijacked” due to Pen Farthing’s attempts to save his animals.
Mr Wallace told a meeting of MPs: ‘What I wasn’t prepared to do was put pets first over people, I’m afraid you won’t like me. for that, but that’s my point of view, there are also some very, very desperate people under real threat. “
Stephen Kinnock, shadow Minister of Labor for Asia, said Sky News: “We had a call with Defense Secretary Ben Wallace yesterday and he said, ‘We can’t be in a situation where we potentially put pets before people. He added, “I must say I agree with every word of this statement. “
Mr Farthing is currently waiting at Kabul airport to board his own charter plane, but cannot enter the compound.
US forces, which control the airport, will have the final say on whether Mr. Farthing, his team and his animals get on the plane.
It is understood that the group is not in the highest “priority” group as it is not considered “at risk”, so there is a risk that it will miss its plane.
The prime minister’s wife, Carrie, has reportedly tried to cancel Ben Wallace to allow Pen Farthing’s animals to leave Kabul on a charter plane, it has been learned.
Farthing friend Dominic Dyer said Mail More: “Mr. Johnson’s wife, Carrie” certainly has something to do with change “. “
However, Downing Street strongly denied that the last-minute decision to allow access to the flight was due to personal intervention.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced on Monday that the UK government had granted visas to Mr Farthing, his workers and their dependents, a total of 68 people.
He said: “Now that the Pen Farthing staff have been cleared to come forward… I have authorized the Defense Ministry to facilitate their treatment alongside all other eligible HKIA staff. [Kabul airport].
“At this stage, if he arrives with his animals, we will look for a slot for his plane. If he doesn’t have his animals with him, he and his staff can board an RAF flight.