Ashdown says package offered to Afghan interpreter doesn’t “fulfill our debt of honour”

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that the Government had changed its mind and would allow Afghan intepreters to settle in this country. This is something that Paddy Ashdown and Nick Clegg had argued for vociferously.

However, as details of the scheme have emerged, they have been dismissed as insufficient by various people, including Paddy Ashdown as the Times (£) reports:

Senior politicians have accused the Government of mistaken priorities in their handling of safeguards for British Army interpreters when UK forces leave Afghanistan.

Only those interpreters who were still in British service on December 19, 2012, will be offered a package of support that includes asylum in Britain under plans confirmed yesterday.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, said that interpreters would be offered inducements to stay in the country, including five years’ paid training or 18 months’ salary, with relocation to Britain the third option.

But the interpreters have said that few of their colleagues would qualify for the package.

Paddy Ashdown is quoted as saying:

The Government has misunderstood that the most important thing here is not how generous it is, but how much it relieves those who served the Crown from mortal risk,” he said. “The package falls significantly short of what is required to fulfil a debt of honour.

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One Comment

  • A Social Liberal 5th Jun '13 - 6:07pm

    I said this long before Paddy, in a much better class of publication

    “This government has condemned even more to at least a lifetime of fear and quite possibly death at the hands of the Taliban because only ‘terps’ who are currently employed will be allowed in.

    Shame on them.”

    Lib Dem Voice Wed 22nd May ‘Nick Clegg and Paddy Ashdown Win The Arguement on Afghan Interpreters’

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