EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: We're trying to get everyone out of Afghanistan that we can

The situation in Afghanistan is utterly heart-breaking, after 20 years of conflict there has been a spectacular failure of US and UK intelligence.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:35 pm
The stories we are hearing are distressing and I promise we will not stop until we have exhausted every avenue.

Announcing a withdrawal date 18 months ago yet not having a robust exit plan has led to the collapse of the Afghan Government and its takeover by the Taliban.

Those who fought in Afghanistan and lost loved ones are bereft that the sacrifices they made to bring peace and safety were overturned so swiftly.

Over recent weeks we have seen the desperation and anguish of those seeking a way out. The trauma our armed forces are going through will haunt them forever.

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They have been face to face with the pain and anguish of families there, reaching into crowds to rescue people, providing humanitarian assistance, sacrificing their own wellbeing for others and having to look into the eyes of those who are desperate and pleading with them.

Yet they are unable to help them all, because not everyone can leave.

The window to evacuate people is closing, come Tuesday next week US and UK forces will leave, there are rumours it may be sooner, if they don’t the Taliban have stated there will be consequences.

The future for those, especially women and girls will be a bleak one.

W e know the Taliban’s previous rule in Afghanistan was marked with extreme cruelty towards women and girls.

There are already harrowing widespread reports of rape, murder, torture and sexual slavery.

My team in South Shields are trying to get everyone out who has contacted us desperate for help.

The stories we are hearing are distressing and I promise we will not stop until we have exhausted every avenue.

So many constituents have also written to me expressing your horror and upset at the scenes unfolding and the pending humanitarian crisis; I know from your many emails our community is ready to welcome Afghanistanis.

I can assure you I have already been in touch with our council to ask what preparations they are making.

A safe haven and a place to call home is the very least we owe them.