Britain’s Defence Secretary has refused to help a former Afghan Air Force pilot who was involved in a war with the British Air Force in his country and is now being deported from the UK to Rwanda.
According to Arab News, Defence Minister James Happy was asked about the pilot’s case in the British House of Commons, and he said, “They do not meet the UK’s Afghan relocation and assistance policy.”
The pilot’s identity has been kept confidential for security reasons. The said pilot participated in dozens of operations against the Taliban and was called a ‘patriot’ by the Western coalition.
After the Taliban came to power in 2021, he left the country and then crossed the English Channel from France by small boat to the UK. He said that he had no other means of reaching Britain.
He applied for asylum but was refused because he had come to the UK illegally from France.
When the Defence Minister was questioned by the members of the Assembly of the Labour Party, he said that he would see if there was a way under the law through which his request could be accepted.
A number of religious leaders in the UK called on the government to grant asylum to the pilot and not deport him to Rwanda. Britain has agreed with the Rwandan government that the refugees will be kept in Rwanda until the case is decided.
The pilot has written to British Prime Minister Rishi Sonak, appealing to him to intervene in the case and explaining how Britain and the West have forgotten his services.
“Since 2015, we have given shelter to 500,000 people who came for protection from Afghanistan, Syria, Hong Kong, and Ukraine,” said the government spokesperson.