Thursday, August 26, 2021
Taliban asked for help
Britain wants to remove 150 animals from Kabuli
Animal Shelter founder Paul Farthing doesn’t want to leave Afghanistan without his animals and his team. A chartered plane is supposed to rescue the squad from Kabul – they are currently stuck in front of the airport. Farthing is now turning to the Taliban for his mission, known as the “Ark”.
A British Navy veteran has asked a Taliban spokesman on Twitter to let more than 150 cats and dogs safely leave Kabul airport. “My team and my animals are stuck in the vicinity of the airport. We have a flight waiting for us. Can you please make sure our convoy is safe in the airport?” Paul “Pain” Farthing wrote directly to Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen.
Farthing had established an animal shelter in Kabul a few years ago after his service with the British Royal Navy. According to information on the shelter’s website, Farthing saw during his mission that not only people, but also animals in Afghanistan needed his help.
After the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, Farthing announced that it wanted to evacuate its animal shelter workers and more than 150 dogs and cats from the country. To do this, he launched a social media campaign called “Operation Ark” and, with the help of supporters of Great Britain, even chartered his own aircraft to ensure evacuation. The veteran announced that he would like to take more people on the plane – the animals must travel to Great Britain in the cargo hold. According to the British BBC, the plane should go from London to Kabul in the evening. Farthing told the broadcaster that he would not leave Afghanistan without his team and the animals.
British Defense Secretary pledges support
The veteran asked British Defense Minister Ben Wallace for assistance with the planned evacuation. As recently as Tuesday, Wallace had declined the request, saying he would not prefer animals to people in real danger. A day later, however, Wallace wrote on Twitter: “If he comes with his animals, we’ll be looking for a slot for his plane.” At first it was also controversial whether Afghan workers at the animal shelter were eligible for evacuation. But here too the government of London had accepted defeat.
Where Wallace’s change of heart came from was initially unclear. It was speculated that the prime minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, who is known to be particularly fond of animals, could have intervened. Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied any involvement on his part. Johnson told reporters he had no influence over personal matters.
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