The scenes we are all seeing from Afghanistan are heart-breaking and devastating for those of us who have supported the transition over twenty years to a more tolerant, liberal and democratic nation. The speed and devastation at which these values and institutions have been erased with the Taliban insurgency is shocking and distressing to see.
Right now, the UK effort is securing the safety and removal of all UK nationals from Afghanistan, along with those Afghans who have aided and supported us in our missions of the past twenty years – which is the right thing to do.
This Wednesday I will be seeking to take part in the debate in Parliament where I will urge the Government to do all we can to unite our allies in the effort to set up safe and secure routes for the thousands – millions - of refugees that will be fleeing Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months.
We have a moral duty and obligation to those who will now be seeking refuge and asylum. I fear particularly for the women and children who will suffer under the brutality of the Taliban regime. We must do all we can through international organisations like the UN, to come together a do whatever it takes to turn this situation around. Abandoning the civilians of Afghanistan to the fate of the Taliban is not an option.
The scenes we are witnessing on our TV screens and spreading across social media are due to the lack of Western leadership at a time that we can little afford to be vacant from the scene.
The civilians of Afghanistan are crying out for support, and we in the UK must not sit by and allow Afghanistan to become a failed state that becomes a breeding ground for terrorism yet again. A safe, secure, tolerant and liberal Afghanistan is good for the citizens of that nation, and it is good for us here in the UK too.
There is still time to help the citizens of Afghanistan, but we must act now.