Afghanistan: Relative in desperate plea to help evacuate family ahead of US withdrawal

Arya Fatih is worried about the precarious position her family in Afghanistan is now following the Taliban takeover. Credit: ITV News

A woman whose aunt and uncle are trapped in Afghanistan has issued a desperate plea for her relatives to be flown to safety before the US withdrawal of troops leaves them even more vulnerable to the mercy of the Taliban.

Arya Fatih is calling on the UK government to help rescue her family members from the conflict-ridden country before August 31, as she fears that after this date the insurgents may start targeting those who they deem to have betrayed the country.

She believes that her aunt is at risk because she works for a UK registered non-profit charity helping to promote digital literacy for girl's schools.

"It is a very worrying situation," Ms Fatih told ITV News.

"The Taliban are saying there is some sort of amnesty for people, but I don't believe that personally. History tells us not to believe it."

"Unfortunately, my aunt has been accused of trying to promote Western values in Afghanistan, which puts her life at threat.

"Her life is also at risk because of her husband's job. He used to work in the NDS until it got dissolved just recently, which is pretty much the equivalent of the secret service in Afghanistan, and we are incredibly worried."

Taliban fighters search a vehicle at a checkpoint on the road in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul. Credit: AP

Her comments follow an emergency virtual meeting of G7 leaders on Tuesday in which Boris Johnson said the UK would continue to evacuate people from the country "until the last moment".

Mr Johnson said he expected the UK could extract thousands more people from Afghanistan before the August 31 deadline, having already evacuated 9,000 people.

However, speaking on Wednesday morning, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab did not deny that evacuations could end within 48 hours in order to allow the military operation to be wound up.

Amid the continuing displacement of Afghans, the government is under mounting pressure to re-settle more than the 20,000 refugees than it has currently committed to accepting in the long-term.

UK affiliated charity workers are among those with links to the West who fear that the Taliban's positions will become more hard-line once media scrutiny fades following the much-criticised US withdrawal deadline which has sparked a desperate scramble to flee.

Senior International Correspondent John Irvine on the fraught situation at Kabul airport as Afghans desperately try to get inside:

The Taliban, which enforced a strict version of Islamic law when they ran Afghanistan before 2001, largely denied education and employment to women and girls, and carried out stonnings, amputations and executions.

Voicing fears that the insurgent's ascendency threatens the future prospects of her family stuck in Afghanistan, Arya, a French national who lives in London, has spoken of her guilt for being so far removed from the chaos.

"I feel very privileged to be here, safe and sound. Then I think about the fact my family are in Afghanistan and they are suffering. My cousins are not able to go to work or school."

"I think we have to be realistic, and I think it is going to be a very tough conversation to have with our family back in Afghanistan to let them know that we were not able to do anything. I think there is a lot of survivors' guilt," she added.