Son's heartfelt plea to PM over father trapped in Afghanistan 'surrounded by Taliban'

2 August 2021, 09:22

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This former Afghan translator has called on Boris Johnson to help his father who worked for the British military during the conflict in Afghanistan.

Jamal Barak, a former interpreter for the British military in Afghanistan, told LBC he was 'worried' for his father.

He revealed his father was trapped in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province which was under British control during the conflict in Afghanistan.

Jamal told Tom Swarbrick that the area has now been "completely taken" by the Taliban as he revealed those who have worked for the British military and NATO have either been killed or are trapped.

"My father was employed by the British government as a gardener."

He revealed his father was attempting to seek refuge in the United Kingdom but with the "collapse" in Helmand Province and the rising tide of Taliban forces means there is a risk.

Jamal made a plea to the Ministry of Defence and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "take urgent action and save these people's lives."

"They have helped the British government for the last two decades and now they are trapped in a bad situation."

More than 2,200 Afghans and their families have already relocated to the UK, according to the latest Government estimates.

Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that the families of Afghans who worked alongside the British are also at risk of being killed by the Taliban if found.

He said: "In many of these cases there has been an individual who may have children over the age of 18 or who may be looking after a relative's children and therefore not be able to qualify for his entire family to move, and of course no parent is going to abandon their child or, indeed, their adopted child.

"So, there are moments here where we just need the bureaucracy to catch up, we need the system to be more responsive and we need to be much fleeter on our feet."

Mr Tugendhat added: "Because the reality is anybody who did work for us who is left behind, if they are found by the Taliban it won't just be them who is killed, it will be their children and their families."

On Wednesday, more than 40 senior UK military figures warned "time is of the utmost essence" to help Afghans who served alongside British armed forces to resettle.

An open letter addressed to the Government was signed by high-ranking former commanders including Lord Dannatt, Lord Boyce and Lord Houghton.

Former national security adviser Lord Ricketts was also a signatory, as was Plymouth Moor View MP Johnny Mercer, a former defence minister who also served in Helmand Province.

The letter called for efforts to resettle Afghan interpreters in the UK to be stepped up in the face of a "resurgent Taliban".