A desperate appeal has been launched to bring a Whitehaven dentist’s family to the UK from Afghanistan.
Suleyman Sakha and his wife Tahmina live in Whitehaven and are concerned for the safety of their family in Afghanistan.
US troops are set to withdraw from Afghanistan in August while the Taliban advance giving rise to safety fears for the nation’s women and girls.
Suleyman said: “My sister-in-law is a medical student and she’s not sure if she’s going to progress her dream of being a doctor if they shut down the ability for women to be educated.
“They’re really concerned for themselves and their family.”
Suleyman and his wife fear for the safety of their family, especially in the climate after the August 31 deadline.
“They say sweet words at the minute, but unfortunately my family have got the bitter experience of living under the previous occupation.”
Tahmina’s mother, father, brother and sister are all currently living in Afghanistan and fear for their safety.
Suleyman is putting a case together to ensure they are amongst the 20,000 refugees who will be brought to the UK through the Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme.
He said: “I would do anything for my family, you would, we all would.”
And the family has called on MP for Copeland Trudy Harrison for help, asking when the Government’s resettlement scheme will open.
Mrs Harrison has previously helped Mrs Sakha with her application to live in the UK.
Mrs Harrison said: “I absolutely sympathise with the incredibly difficult situation Mr Sakha’s family find themselves in, and I have contacted Mr Sakha to offer my assistance and to outline the options that are currently available.
“The most immediate route to evacuation is the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy; a pre-existing scheme to help Afghans who have assisted coalition forces and who face an immediate risk.
“If any members of Mr Sakha’s family are eligible then I will assist them in this process.”
“The route for those who don’t qualify for this option is the Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme aims to welcome 5,000 Afghans in year one, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term.
“The Government is working urgently to open this route and I will share details of the eligibility criteria and application process with Mr Sakha as soon as they become available.”
In a letter to her family in Whitehaven, Tahmina’s sister writes: “My only hope is to request from the Government of the UK to protect me. With the rights and liberties that the UK provides equally for women I can fulfill my dream and become a doctor, I can prove women are capable of achieving great things if they are allowed and given a chance.”