LONDON — A former Royal Marine turned charity director in Afghanistan has slammed British government claims that the situation in the war-torn country is stabilizing, warning that he and his staff would be risking their lives if they tried to get to the airport in Kabul.
Paul Farthing, better known as “Pen,” said he has been told by British authorities that he has a seat on a flight back to the U.K., but not for the 25 staff from his animal welfare charity Nowzad and their families.
Farthing told BBC radio that he is “disgusted” at the situation, and warned that the humanitarian crisis is now “getting out of control.”
“We can’t leave the country because we can’t get into the airport without putting our lives at risk.” he said. “You’ve all seen the scenes — it is not different today to any other time, it is just getting worse.”
He said he is “past angry” and “just completely numb at the incompetence of this operation.”
As of Wednesday, Britain had managed to get out over 2,000 Afghans from the country, way more that the 300 or so U.K. nationals. On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said around 1,000 people a day were being evacuated amid a “stabilization” at the airport, a lot of them Afghan citizens “to whom we owe debts of gratitude and honor.”