Plaid Cymru MPs urge UK Government not to ‘turn a blind eye’ on Afghan people
Plaid Cymru MPs say the UK Government has a responsibility to provide protection for the Afghan people who served alongside British forces.
In a joint statement, they call the situation in Afghanistan a ‘humanitarian disaster unfolding’ as Taliban forces take control of all major cities and the fall of Kabul seems imminent.
They describe the potentially ‘horrific’ implications for civilians and particularly women with reports that many are being denied access to basic freedoms such as work and education.
The statement from MPs Liz Saville Roberts MP, Hywel Williams MP and Ben Lake MP states: “After twenty years, over a quarter of a million civilians lives lost, thousands displaced, 457 British soldiers dead – with many more at home suffering from both mental and physical injuries because of this bitter war, the world looks on in horror at the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Afghanistan.
“The UK Government has a responsibility to provide refuge to all the Afghan people who served alongside British forces who are now at risk of being targeted by the Taliban, including interpreters, Afghans trained as special forces, and those people who set up schools for girls and helped NGOs,”
They call for visas to be urgently arranged for the 34 Afghans who are due to start scholarships at UK universities but have had their places suspended as their visas cannot be arranged in time.
They state: “We urge the UK Government and the international community not to turn a blind eye and to stand by their obligations and press any future Afghan government to protect and sustain progressive gains made in justice and education.”
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, MP Tom Tugendhat, has described the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as Britain’s biggest foreign policy disaster since the Suez crisis of 1956.
The latest reports suggest that Afghanistan president, Ashraf Ghani, has now left the country and the Taliban is ready to order its fighters to enter the capital of Kabul.