Time is running out as the Taliban take over the country
A Scottish charity is pleading to the UK government for urgent assistance to help evacuate two female employees trapped in Afghanistan.
The Linda Norgrove Foundation funds scholarships for women to be educated with many training to become doctors in the country.
Linda Norgrove was killed during an attempted rescue by US special forces after she was kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2010 with her parents, Lorna and John, creating the charity in her memory.
The couple have asked for urgent assistance to help evacuate the foundation’s two female employees, who are sisters, one of whom has a husband and infant child.
They are Hazara, an ethnic minority that emphasises education for girls which has been persecuted by the Taliban.
Jamie Stone, the Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said it would be scandalous for these aid workers to be ignored, and treated differently to the Afghans employed in security or by the British army.
“It would be terrible, it would be shocking, for these people to be forgotten,” Stone said, and called for Dominic Raab to expand the scope of the UK-led rescue mission.
Stone was instrumental in a cross-party appeal by about 50 MPs urging Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, to extract Afghans employed as security guards at the British embassy in Kabul.
Stone added: “Linda Norgrove’s tragic death demonstrated the dangers for people working in other sectors, such as humanitarian aid. I don’t see why these people cannot be afforded the same means of getting out.”
John Norgrove said there had been silence from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. “Everything goes in and nothing comes out. It’s a black hole,” he said.
The Norgroves run the foundation from their croft on the island of Lewis in the Western Isles, where their daughter went to school before working in Afghanistan for a US-based charity. Angus MacNeil, the Scottish National party MP for the Western Isles, has also appealed for Home Office intervention.
After being kidnapped near Jalalabad in September 2010, Norgrove and her kidnappers were tracked by Nato forces to nearby mountains. A rescue mission by a US Navy Seals special forces unit went badly wrong: Norgrove was fatally wounded by a US grenade thrown during a gun battle, which also left four kidnappers and two farmers dead.