UK seeks to ensure safety of 3 citizens detained in Afghanistan
The UK government maintains its decision not to negotiate with terrorists, however, since the Taliban is not designated as a terrorist organization in Afghanistan, this could be a loophole for establishing communications.
London has sought to ensure the safety of three UK citizens that are being held in custody by the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the BBC reported on Sunday.
Two of the detainees, Kevin Cornwell, 53 years old, and a second unnamed UK national, were detained earlier in January. Cornwell, at the time, was accused of illegal possession of weapons. Cornwell's family, on the other hand, said he had a license to carry.
"If there are risks to people's safety if they're a British citizen abroad, then the UK government is going to do whatever it takes to ensure that they're safe," UK Interior Minister Suella Braverman told Sky News.
Miles Routledge, 23-year-old, the third UK national detained in Afghanistan, was taken into custody, alongside two Polish citizens on March 2, 2023, for being dubbed "danger tourist," according to the Telegraph which cited a senior European diplomatic source.
According to the article, Routledge was already in Afghanistan in 2021, when the Taliban seized control of Kabul.
The article also stated that at the time, he was able to board a UK military plane carrying refugees from the Taliban and leave the nation.
The UK government retains the policy of "not negotiating with terrorists", but, the Taliban are not designated as a terrorist organization in Afghanistan, which made communications between London and Kabul permissible, UK media reported.
9,000+ Afghan refugees still stranded in UK two years after withdrawal
The UK has carried out its largest evacuation mission since the 1940s after it pulled out from Afghanistan thousands of Afghan nationals who served in the British army and other governmental institutions, Turkish news outlet Anadolu Agency reported earlier in January.
The Afghan citizens were evacuated along with their families, the report noted.
The media outlet added that out of the 21,000 evacuees, almost half of them were placed in hotels while the rest were provided with accommodations.
According to the Home Department data, 9,242 refugees are staying in 63 hotels across the United Kingdom, almost half of which are children.
During the UK's withdrawal from Afghanistan, 18,000 people, including over 6,000 British citizens, were evacuated two weeks after the Taliban took over.
However, several thousands of individuals that were left behind after the evacuation mission ended continued to leave the Asian country and applied for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or the Afghan Citizen's Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).
The United Kingdom deployed 600 troops to Afghanistan to secure the evacuation of its nationals and embassy staff.
"Some made it to the UK on their own and applied to one of those schemes, while others submitted their applications through British diplomatic missions in neighboring nations," AA added.