UK citizen who runs animal shelter refuses to leave Afghanistan without his staff
As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, thousands of locals and foreign nationals tried their best to flee the country. However, one UK citizen has decided to stay back till all of his employees and family members have safely left Afghanistan.
A little before the Taliban announced complete takeover of Kabul, even the former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. However, a former British Royal Marine, Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing, has shown more courage.
Farthing served in the UK's Royal Marine for 22 years and then set up the 'Nowzad' animal shelter in 2007, in remembrance of his first rescue dog.
Since 2007, Farthing had managed to grow his foundation and employ a staff of 25 Afghan nationals, who had been religiously serving the animals at the shelter.
"I had an opportunity, the fact that I am a British citizen, I'm going to use that to full effect - so I've said I'm not going until my staff leave this country," Farthing told news agency Reuters.
His animal shelter has also given the country its first female veterinarians. This was a huge achievement for Farthing and his animal shelter as the Taliban had not allowed women to work under their previous regime and had strongly disapproved of keeping dogs as pets.
As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Farthing decided to stay in the country to ensure his employees and family members are evacuated first. "My staff don't deserve the fate that awaits them if they stay here in Afghanistan," he said.
Farthing has also pointed out that although there is a sense of calmness in the community, contrary to the expectations, the areas near the Kabul International Airport are the ones which are highly chaotic and violent.
“You've got the British and Americans inside and then outside you've got this throng of people; and then you have the Taliban checkpoints," Farthing said.