London, Sept 18 (Reuters): Afghans and Kosovars who came to Britain fleeing political turmoil or persecution should go home and help rebuild their countries, home secretary David Blunkett said today.
Blunkett — known for his straight-talking on the sensitive issue of asylum and immigration — said the two hotspots were “countries we have freed”, and criticised their citizens for staying in Britain when their asylum claims had been rejected. “They should get back home and help recreate their countries that we freed from tyranny, whether it be Kosovo or now Afghanistan,” Blunkett said during a parliamentary committee hearing on asylum and immigration.
“I have no sympathy whatsoever for young men... who do not go home and help rebuild their countries and their families.”
Britain said in July it would send failed Afghan asylum seekers home, saying the fall of the hardline Islamic Taliban government made it safe.
But Blunkett’s words prompted fury from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, whose chief executive slammed the home secretary’s “simplistic” view of asylum. “People come here seeking asylum for very complex individual reasons, sometimes from comparatively safe countries, let alone Afghanistan or Kosovo,” he said