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LONDON: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel faces further pressure from members of her own party following failed Afghan resettlement program, which has not started more than three months after its launch.

It comes as debate rages in Britain over the deaths of 27 migrants in the Channel earlier this week.

Several Tory MPs have privately called on Patel to take action on the Afghan citizen resettlement program, The Guardian reported.

They said the British government’s inaction put Afghans at “mortal risk” and left vulnerable targets in the country at the mercy of the Taliban.

Damian Green, the former immigration minister, called for a new approach to migration that is “realistic and compassionate”.

In an opinion piece, he criticized the “blame game” between the UK and France over deaths at sea, and called on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron to work together to resolve crisis.

He said, “Now is not the time for displays of hurt self-esteem in either language. Reckless speech costs lives.

Afghans are well represented in the corps of migrants on the French coasts trying to get to the UK. Critics of the UK government have argued that opening a legal route of entry would help prevent deaths at sea.

Rory Stewart, the former international development secretary, said the problems associated with the Afghan resettlement program were “surmountable”, but the opportunity to help vulnerable people was fading away.

“We have a narrow window to get people out. Right now, strangely enough, the Taliban are ready to let people out. It will not be true forever. It is very likely that at some point they will start to take more drastic measures.

“We have a deep moral obligation. These people, who are deeply vulnerable, were told that they were going to be helped. It’s just amazing they didn’t. This kind of program, in fact, is the kind of thing that is the right alternative to these dangerous and unforeseen routes. It moves people safely, but it’s also the way to ensure that the most vulnerable are prioritized.

A public opinion poll found that only 18% of voters believed Patel was effectively handling the migrant crisis. In the opposite camp, 62% thought that she handled it “badly” or “very badly”.

Caroline Nokes, the former Conservative Minister for Immigration, said: “This program has to be operational. Afghans here whose families are still in Afghanistan were hopeful when the program was announced, but they are desperately concerned that time is running out to get their family members to safety.

Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, said: “We are all in favor of stopping illegal immigration, but these other avenues are the key to getting things done. It needs to be open and resolved, especially because of Afghanistan and the obligations to the people there. This week illustrates that.

The Law Society has warned that lawyers and judges who have worked to prosecute members of the Taliban over the past decade “are all targets while they are still in Afghanistan.”

Marina Brilman, the company’s international human rights adviser, said the program may not be ready by the end of the year.

She added: “Most of the judges, prosecutors and lawyers who have helped consolidate the rule of law in Afghanistan are Afghan nationals. They were never on the UK government’s evacuation list. When the last British flight left Kabul airport, they found themselves stranded. Especially the women.

“They are sending us desperate pleas for help and passing handwritten death threats saying that they and their families will be killed. They are constantly moving homes, and even provinces, to escape the violence. House searches by the Taliban continue, as do extrajudicial killings and beatings in public. Of course, setting up this diet is a huge undertaking.

“But it shouldn’t take three and a half months to open it up for nominations. This begs the question of how much of a priority this is for the UK government. “

However, a government spokesperson defended the deployment of the program.

“We undertook the UK’s largest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping more than 15,000 people take shelter in Afghanistan, which we continue to support .

“ACRS is one of the most generous programs in the history of our country and will give another 20,000 people at risk a new life in the UK. We continue to work at a steady pace to open up the program in a complex and changing environment, working government-wide and with partners such as UNHCR to design the program.

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