'My kids' lives are in danger': The Afghan gardener fearing Taliban revenge for helping the British

Shista Gul knows his chances of leaving Lashka Gar alive are dwindling.

He used to work as a gardener for the British Army. The Taliban know that. They have threatened to kill him for ‘betraying his country’.

Already, one of his sons has been shot dead by the militants, another grandson is kidnapped and missing.

His other son, who's been shot twice by the extremists, managed to get out and is living in Coventry.

He was an interpreter for the British Army and qualified for resettlement under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme.

'My Kids' lives are in danger': Shaista Gul says he is scared to even go ' two steps'

But because Shista wasn’t deemed to be working in a ‘frontline’ role, his applications so far have been turned down.

The Taliban are now only three miles from his modest house on the outskirts of the city.

Everyone in his local community knows he worked for the British Army.

He has been shunned at his local mosque and is terrified that when inevitably the Taliban roll into town, fingers will be pointed at him.

Campaigners for Sulha Alliance, which has taken up the plight of Afghan interpreters, are outraged that so many other contractors for the British Army have been forgotten.

Jamal Barak, Shaista's son, says his father will 'definitely be killed' if the Taliban advances further

Ed Aitkins a former Captain in the British Army summed up the case for helping people like Shista eloquently. “The Taliban are completely indiscriminate when it comes to retribution against those who helped the British and international troops.

"They couldn’t care less if you were an interpreter who was terminated from employment or a pot washer in the kitchen.

"If they worked for the British and it is known in their communities - which it certainly is because nothing is a secret in their communities - then the Taliban will find out and will kill them and their family without hesitation.

"There are daily assassination attempts and threats to these guys and sadly many have already hit their targets.

"The British public have already expressed huge support for these guys. And our politicians have made sweeping pledges to support them.

"But what we are seeing is a resettlement policy that is being implemented in a pernickety and ungenerous way and it is not recognising that the Taliban won’t make the distinctions that we are making when deciding who we will help and who we will not.

"And I’m pretty certain this is not what the British public want. And it’s certainly not what the serving and veteran community wants.”

Many find it morally outrageous that the very people who ensured the survival of our troops in Afghanistan are now left wondering if their families will be murdered in the coming weeks.

The Taliban is making sweeping gains in Afghanistan.

With each Taliban victory, the risk increases that those who stood by our troops when we needed them, will be sacrificed by our failure to act.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that under the terms of the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (Arap), Afghan staff who worked for the UK government will see their applications to settle in Britain “rapidly accelerated” after international allies, including the UK and US, announced their intention to withdraw from the war-hit country.

The MoD said the revamped policy “acknowledges and reflects” that the situation in Afghanistan has changed, and “with it the potential risk to the local staff who have worked for the UK government over the past 20 years.”