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Home | Opinions | Politics | Why helping Afghan interpreters was the right thing to do?

Why helping Afghan interpreters was the right thing to do?

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Why helping Afghan interpreters was the right thing to do?
 To hear Ahmad Refa’s remarkable story in The Herald on Friday brought home just how much was at stake for the people who worked as interpreters for the British Army in Afghanistan.
Their lives, their families, their education, their home. Everything was put on the line to help the British soldiers – many of them from Scottish communities stationed in the country.
It is a life that is hard to imagine.
Clearly they played a vital role in supporting the troops on the ground, undoubtedly saving many British lives and putting their own lives and wellbeing at risk in the process. That is why doing all we can to help them to resettle in this country is the right thing to do.
Just over 300 Afghan nationals have now settled in Scotland under the Locally Employed Staff scheme. They are welcome here and the Scottish Government is clear about its responsibility to help them build a new life here.
Already we support former interpreters who have settled from Iraq, as the Home Office gives them indefinite leave to remain. This residency status ensures they have access to the full range of financial support available which can help them to study or retrain at a Scottish college or university. But, inexplicably, Afghan interpreters who were employed by the British Army have only been given five years’ initial leave to stay in the country rather than the indefinite leave afforded to their Iraqi counterparts. That is neither fair nor equitable.It means that, because of their residency status, they have been prevented from accessing the financial support we offer to help our residents go to university or college.
In the case of Ahmad Refa, he wants to take a computer science degree so he can finish his diploma in IT. We should absolutely help him to do this.
That is why I was pleased to announce last week that we will make changes to our regulations to allow Afghan interpreters to get access to the full range of student support available. It is a recognition of the contribution they have made in their service to the UK. It speaks to how much we value the contribution of all those armed forces personnel in Scotland who were deployed to Afghanistan, and to many other countries around the world.
It was particularly important for me to announce this in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament, where many members have rightly raised concerns about this issue. Of particular mention are Sandra White MSP and the Afghan Human Rights Foundation, who were the first to raise this issue and bring it to my attention. Along with this newspaper.
While the issue was not of our making, I am pleased to be able to set it right. In the midst of such turbulence on the international stage and uncertainty about our future place in the world we can demonstrate, through our actions as well as our words, that Scotland remains an inclusive, outward-looking and welcoming country.
I know our colleges and universities value the diversity that students from different countries and different backgrounds bring to campus life.
And it benefits Scotland too if the Afghan nationals who have settled here are supported to make best use of their skills, knowledge and talent.
I very much hope that some of the former Afghan interpreters will now be able to take up the offer of financial support to study at our colleges and universities.
And finally I send my best wishes to Mr Refa and his family. I hope they get the new start in Scotland that they so fully deserve.
 
 

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They man we saw in the photo is talk about to start the help of the afghan. But before starting the help he want to take our reviews which is more important for this guy. After taking review he take a final decision to start help or not.
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