Generals' fury as UK snubs 130 heroic Afghan translators with top brass ...

Generals' fury as UK snubs 130 heroic Afghan translators with top brass ...
Generals' fury as UK snubs 130 heroic Afghan translators with top brass ...

More than 40 military chiefs today urge Boris Johnson to speed up the relocation of interpreters from Afghanistan.

In a grim warning to the Prime Minister, they say Britain faces 'dishonour' if those who served with UK troops are left to be murdered by the Taliban.

In the open letter they claim the public has been told the Government is doing everything it can when in fact British policy is over-complicated and mean-spirited.

More than 500 cases have been rejected under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Programme in the past three months, at least 130 of them involving interpreters.

In a grim warning to the Prime Minister, more than 40 military chiefs say Britain faces 'dishonour' if those who served with UK troops are left to be murdered by the Taliban (file photo of British soldiers in Afghanistan)

In a grim warning to the Prime Minister, more than 40 military chiefs say Britain faces 'dishonour' if those who served with UK troops are left to be murdered by the Taliban (file photo of British soldiers in Afghanistan)

The others did jobs including driving and cooking at British bases in Helmand province.

They all face reprisals from the Taliban, who are now said to be in control of up to 80 per cent of the country. Seven former coalition interpreters are thought to have been killed this year.

To qualify for relocation, interpreters must fulfil a list of conditions as well as prove they were in an exposed role that now puts them in 'imminent danger'.

Meeting all the criteria can be impossible because of missing paperwork. The British embassy in Kabul, which administers the ARAP, is short staffed, leading to delays and clerical errors when dealing with the huge caseload.

More than 1,000 interpreters – 35 per cent of the total – had their service terminated, a fact that generally rules out the chance of a successful application.

The officers, including former Army chief Lord Dannatt and former special forces leader Brigadier Ed Butler, argue the criteria should be less onerous. 

'Punished for obeying orders'

Arif had his application for sanctuary rejected because he was dismissed from his job as a British Army interpreter.

He has since been repeatedly threatened and attacked in Afghanistan and now fears he is being abandoned to the Taliban.

The 36-year-old father insisted his dismissal was an injustice that followed a change in command.

Arif (right) had his application for sanctuary rejected because he was dismissed from his job as a British Army interpreter

Arif (right) had his application for sanctuary rejected because he was dismissed from his job as a British Army interpreter

'I think they wanted to reduce the numbers of interpreters so I was sacrificed,' he said.

'Now my life and that of my family has been put in danger.'

He added: 'I followed orders and was punished for it. That can now be corrected so we can live a safe life but it seems those in UK do not want to. Please show compassion and help.'

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Their letter says: 'Time is of the utmost essence to save the lives of those who served alongside our servicemen and women in Afghanistan and who saved countless British lives.

'It is clear there is insufficient capacity for ARAP to cope with the scale and pace required.

'If any of our former interpreters are murdered by the Taliban in the wake of our

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