Pen Farthing ‘So Happy’ After Animal Rescuers Escape From Afghanistan
Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing said he was “so happy” that his staff who worked in an animal shelter had left Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Paul “Pen” Farthing, who was forced to leave his Afghan staff amid chaotic scenes in Kabul last month, called their arrival in Pakistan “absolutely breathtaking” on Saturday.
He tweeted that his Operation Ark campaign to bring workers and animals out of the Nowzad shelter in Kabul out of the country was “a complete success.”
Mr Farthing said Nowzad staff are “now safe in Islamabad and in the custody of the British High Commission!” I am so happy right now! “.
He said: “It is absolutely breathtaking. It hasn’t really sunk yet. “
Mr Farthing said he saw photos of the staff after they arrived and the smiles on their faces “tell you everything you need to know”.
Afghan personnel had hand-raised dozens of rescued animals, but were unable to leave during the rushed mass evacuation, with foreign troops withdrawing from the country about two decades after US forces removed militants from power in 2001.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab tweeted: “Glad the Afghan staff in Nowzad, who have been called in for an evacuation, made it through the Pakistani border today. Our @ukinpakistanstaff is helping them and we look forward to welcoming them to the UK in the coming days. “
Since returning to England in late August, Mr Farthing had been working to help evacuate 68 staff and families at Nowzad Animal Shelter, including 25 children and a newborn, from Afghanistan.
The Operation Ark campaign has sparked controversy, although it received tremendous public support.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace complained that some of Mr. Farthing’s more militant supporters had “taken too long” from senior commanders.
Mr Farthing also apologized for leaving a curse-laden message for a government aide as he attempted to carry out the evacuation.