Former British Army interpreter says 'beliefs have been shattered' as Taliban takeover Afghanistan

Afghan people living in our region have spoken out about the fear, frustration and the hopelessness they feel as they watch their country plunge further into chaos and terror under the Taliban and the horror they believe is now facing loved ones they left behind.

A handful of old photographs is all Jamshidullah Akhtar has of his family. A family he has not seen for six years, who he has been unable to contact for almost a month as the grip of the Taliban has tightened on his homeland. While he can only watch the catastrophic scenes in Kabul and despair.

He said:"Any guy from my country if you ask him, he will cry. The situation there is unacceptable. The Americans betrayed me, my family, our country - they just left us back to the people who twenty years ago - you could see the people being hanged, being stoned."

Mr Akhtar came to live in Halifax with his wife and baby daughter in 2015, sponsored by the government after his role as an interpreter for the British Army left him blacklisted and his family's safety in doubt. But it was a job he believed was important for the future of his country. A belief that's been shattered.

"There is no future, there is no education, you can't do any business, you can't do any work. There is no future in my country."

Taliban forces in Afghanistan Credit: Press Association

As the government is urged to help those fleeing Afghanistan - charities here are getting ready to do what they can. At St Augustine's centre in Halifax, which supported Mr Akhtar and his young family when they arrived, they don't yet know what to expect but they know how to help. 

Katie Fawcett from the charity said refugees will be arriving suffering a range of experiences like 'fear, anxiety, physical and emotional trauma.' She said the charity will make sure 'those needs are met straight away.'

Dave Brown from Migration Yorkshire said:"It is a whole society response to this issue. No one alone do this. But what we do have in this region Yorkshire and Humberside has always been when we have been in a difficult situation, emergencies like this, humanitarian need, people come together and do the right think and are always leading the way on that."

Jamshidullah has not seen some of his family members for six years

Tomorrow Mr Akhtar will join around a thousand former interpreters protesting at Westminster as they call on the government to come to the aid of those families who have been left behind. His and so many other loved ones among them.