'I miss my son and family'- City man's terror after being stranded in Kabul
- Credit: Contributed
A Norwich father who travelled to Afghanistan for a funeral has spoken of feeling terrified day and night after his flight home was cancelled.
Ashna Shinwari, 29, of Gas Hill, is unable to leave Taliban-occupied Kabul after his Turkish Airlines flight which was scheduled for August 10 was cancelled.
His attempts to rebook the flight have also been thwarted due to the ongoing crisis in the capital city, with Mr Shinwari struggling to contact the UK embassy to get back to England.
Mr Shinwari, who was born in Afghanistan but moved to the UK in 2008, said his girlfriend and four-year-old son, who are both in Norwich, are extremely worried.
"She watches the news and knows what is going on here, but I keep her calm and keep telling her I will be back soon," Mr Shinwari said.
Video footage of Afghans clinging onto the side of a US Air Force jet after an evacuation flight left Kabul airport have sent shockwaves around the world as many Afghans desperately attempt to flee the country.
And Mr Shinwari has spoken about the current situation in Kabul, saying banks are shut and prices have gone up about 10pc within four days for most goods.
He also said there is a shortage of food, gas and fuel with many businesses shutting because of looting.
"Not many people still believe that the Taliban would take over the whole country within 10 days, " Mr Shinwari said.
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"Life is very complicated here. There are no rules or law enforcement for anything.
"You can see uniform militants running up and down in the streets. You can hear shooting and gunfire in the middle of night.
"It's well scary for someone like me because I left Afghanistan when I was 15 years old and to see people going through such dramatic scenes, it's really heart-breaking."
The former Norwich City College student, who has worked as a support worker, had travelled to Afghanistan for a funeral before the Taliban occupation of the capital.
He has also worked as an interpreter for the Pashto and Farsi languages during his time in Norfolk as a British citizen.
Mr Shinwari said: "I'm scared and terrified every day and night. Of course I'm trying to get back to the UK as soon as possible.
"I miss my son and my family over there. If I knew it would get that bad, I would never have come to Afghanistan."
He has sent multiple emails to the UK embassy, which took his passport number and details, promising to contact Mr Shinwari.
But the Norwich man is still left waiting with uncertainty and has found main number for the embassy does not work for him now.
Mr Shinwari said: "I spoke to the UK embassy a few times and explained my situation.
"They told me they are going to contact me which they haven't done in the last four days and I'm still waiting hopeless, scared and fearful. The whole airport is crowded with the local people hoping they would ended up in another country."
The UK defence secretary Ben Wallace has said the UK will continue to stay in Afghanistan for as long as the United States run Kabul airport.
Passengers on flights out of Kabul this week have included British citizens, British government personnel, media and human rights staff, as well as Afghans who had worked for the UK.
The government has announced a resettlement scheme to help people trying to escape Afghanistan with Norfolk County Council stating it is helping with the situation.
The Home Office has claimed it will be "one of the most generous" resettlement schemes in the UK's history.
Up to 20,000 Afghans refugees have been promised support from the government with as many as 5,000 in the first year.
Priority will be given to women and girls, and religious and other minorities, who are most at risk of human rights abuses and dehumanising treatment by the Taliban, the Home Office has said.
An 'extremely difficult situation'
Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has said Mr Shinwari is one of three constituents currently stranded in Afghanistan who his office have been in contact with.
Mr Lewis said his office is working with various government departments including the Home Office and Foreign Office to help get the constituents back to England.
But the MP, a former territorial army officer who served in Afghanistan for a three-month tour, said the situation is a convoluted one.
Mr Lewis said: "The feedback I am getting is that one of the impediments is that the US negotiated the exit deal with the Taliban and the British are left in an extremely difficult situation.
"It makes it difficult for us to say what to do or where to go. That's what the British are feeling."
There are concerns the US will pull out after the current August 31 deadline.
Landlords willing to lease properties in the Greater Norwich area to house refugees as part of the resettlement scheme should contact 01603 989444 or email@example.com