KABUL (Pajhwok): Scores of Afghan interpreters who worked with British troops on the frontline in southern Helmand province have been allowed to settle in the UK.
Threatened by militants, some 450 interpreters travelled to the UK with their families under the original scheme that was unveiled seven years ago. But many of them were found ineligible.
The government decided to expand the relocation scheme on Friday, when Defence Secretary Ben Wallace hailed the decision as the honourable thing to do.
According to the BBC, only those who had worked with the British forces for a year or more, and were then relieved, could apply under the original scheme.
Hundreds of interpreters, who had worked for British forces in Helmand before they left in 2014, did not qualify for resettlement in the UK.
After talks between the defence and home secretaries, the government expanded the resettlement scheme, the BBC reported.
Now the interpreters who worked with British forces for 18 months or more, between May 2006 and December 2014, will also be eligible to apply to resettle in the UK along with families.
As a result of Friday’s decision, around 100 more former Afghan interpreters will be eligible to seek resettlement in Britain under the new rules.
The new changes will significantly expand the eligibility criteria for former interpreters applying for the relocation offer.