Afghan former English teacher ‘regrets’ working with the UK

A former English language teacher stranded in Afghanistan said he “regrets” working with the UK mission in the country because of the grave danger he now faces.

The unnamed teacher said he has been targeted by the Taliban because his face is on billboards in Afghanistan advertising English classes.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “I regret working with the English. I regret helping people learn English. Why did I work for people who left me and fled and left me alone here? My background is hurting me nowadays.

“They are looking for me because I’ve got pictures in billboards advertised for classes. Also, I worked for the British Council. I worked for the UK for the past eight or nine years.”

US forces finally withdrew from Afghanistan on Monday, a day ahead of the deadline set by Joe Biden, bringing to an end a deployment that began in the wake of the September 11 attacks two decades ago.

UK troops arriving at RAP Brize Norton
UK military personnel arriving at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire from Kabul, Afghanistan (Ministry of Defence/PA)

The end of the Western military presence – the UK had already pulled out its remaining troops – also concluded the airborne evacuation effort from Kabul, leaving Afghans who cooperated with the UK and Nato facing an uncertain future.

Meanwhile danger is also posed by the so-called Islamic State’s Afghan offshoot, Isis-K, which claimed responsibility for the bloody attack on Kabul airport in the final days of the evacuation effort.

The blast killed two Britons and the child of a British national, along with 13 US service personnel and scores of Afghans.

The teacher said he tried to flee Afghanistan shortly after the Taliban took over, but found there was no way to escape.

He said he applied for the evacuation scheme but had “no reply”. He said he was able to obtain a Pakistan visa but has been unable to leave safely.

“Last night was the worst,” he said. “It was, the whole night, guns while you’re sleeping. It damages your mind. My fate will be the same, like others.”