The Taliban’s political leaders are believed to be making their way to Kabul in order to finalise the outfit’s takeover of Afghanistan. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the Taliban’s founding members, had been in Qatar, having been released from prison in 2018 to help facilitate the peace process with the US. Pictures this week showed Taliban members entering the Afghan presidential palace just hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
The group managed to claw back almost all provinces following President Joe Biden’s finalising the withdrawal of US troops in the region, set in motion by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Britain followed suit.
While some celebrated what would officially mark the end of a 20-year war, others have argued that the sudden withdrawal has abandoned Afghanistan to be overrun by the Taliban again.
Some, like Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader, spent decades urging the Government to reevaluate its position in Afghanistan.
In 2010, he made a speech in which he said the war was “clearly unwinnable”.
He said: “The issue of Afghanistan goes on.
“The deaths continue, the soldiers continue to die, the war is clearly unwinnable.
“The expense in moral terms, financial terms and loss of life of Afghan people gets worse and worse.”
The speech came a day before a ballot in Parliament in which MPs would vote on participation in the war.
Mr Corbyn said he would vote against the continuation of British troops in Afghanistan.
Fast-forward to the present-day, Mr Corbyn is now calling for the UK to play its part in welcoming refugees and in diplomatic efforts to stabilise the region.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday evening, he said there was now a “serious refugee emergency in the region”.
He continued: “We must play our part in welcoming people seeking safety, and work with our neighbours to develop a multinational plan to help refugees, rather than tightening borders as is currently taking place across Europe.”
He later added: “Too often rejecting military intervention is conflated with taking no action at all.
“As well as resettling refugees, I will be making the case in Parliament this week for the UK to play its part in a robust diplomatic effort that engages regional powers to ensure stability.
“This will need to cover humanitarian support, a response to rising extreme poverty, respect for human and civil rights especially those of women and girls, and real self-determination for Afghanistan.”
Matt Dent, a Labour councillor for Kursaal ward, Southend-on-Sea, replied to Mr Corbyn, and said: “This is what you wanted.
“All troops out, and the Afghans left to Taliban oppression. You must be delighted.”
The UK has deployed 200 soldiers to Afghanistan in recent days.
Around 900 are currently thought to be in Kabul, although their job is to help evacuate British citizens and local allies from Afghanistan, not fight the Taliban.
Today, Parliament has been recalled to discuss the unfolding crisis.
Boris Johnson has said the UK will honour its “enduring commitment to Afghan people”.