US President Joe Biden has set a deadline of 31 August to withdraw all Afghan refugees who are considered as being at risk from the Taliban. US forces will not remain beyond that date and British troops are also expected to pull out.
More than 50,000 Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul since the Taliban* took over the capital on 15 August.
Around 7,000 of them have arrived in Britain but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take in a total of 20,000, many of whom will have come via refugee camps in Pakistan.
But questions remain – who decides who is allowed to come to Britain and who is not, and what about the thousands of Afghans who have already fled the country and have travelled, or are travelling, overland to Europe?
In the past few years, thousands of Afghans have fled fighting and poverty in their homeland and travelled via Iran and Turkey into Greece and onwards into the European Union.
But many of these have kept under the radar, smuggling themselves on board lorries or paying people traffickers to ship them across the English Channel until they arrive in Britain and then claim political asylum.
It is estimated there are 2.6 million Afghan refugees around the world, not including the millions who have migrated to other countries and are now documented Afghan-Americans, Afghan-Germans, etc.
In 2016 almost 10,000 Afghans were returned to Afghanistan by European Union countries after their…