Minister for Afghanistan was on staycation vacation as Kabul fell, Sky Information understands

2021-08-21 18:32:00

The minister for Afghanistan was additionally on vacation final week as Kabul fell, Sky Information has learnt.

Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, the minister of state straight liable for South Asia, was on depart till Sunday, the day the Taliban marched into the Afghan capital.

The Conservative peer has been in his submit for 4 years. He has been in common contact with the Afghan overseas minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar over the previous yr as peace talks have been beneath method in Doha between the Taliban and Afghan authorities.

Lord Ahmad (right) has been in regular contact with the Afghan foreign minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar since he took the post in 2017
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Lord Ahmad (proper) has been in common contact with the Afghan overseas minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar since he took the submit in 2017

Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab has confronted calls to resign for failing to make a name to Mr Atmar on Friday, whereas on vacation in Crete, which critics say may have been used to hunt assist for Afghan interpreters.

However it’s understood that whereas Lord Ahmad was on a staycation within the UK and in touch with officers because the Afghanistan disaster quickly deepened, he was not requested to make the decision to Mr Atmar on Friday, and was not instructed about it.

It was delegated to Lord Goldsmith – who covers the Pacific and splits his time with the Setting division.

The Overseas Workplace has confirmed the decision by no means occurred, resulting in fierce criticism.

An Overseas, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace (FCDO) spokesperson stated: “Lord Ahmad has been working intently with the overseas secretary and the FCDO crew all through the response to occasions in Afghanistan, together with participating with worldwide companions.”

Dominic Raab, leaving Downing Street, central London following a meeting, as he has rejected calls to quit as Foreign Secretary after opposition leaders demanded he be sacked for failing to make a call to help translators flee Afghanistan. Picture date: Thursday August 19, 2021.
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There have been requires Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab to resign

Lord Ahmad has been again at his desk since Monday engaged on the evacuation, a supply stated.

He’s understood to have spent a part of his vacation engaged on circumstances raised by parliamentarians of these trapped in Afghanistan.

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‘Totally horrendous’: Individuals ‘crushed’ at Kabul airport

Talking within the Home of Lords debate on Wednesday – held similtaneously the Commons debate – he stated he was doing all he may to deliver British nationals again.

A authorities supply instructed Sky Information contingency plans for the evacuation – referred to as Operation Pitting – had been readied for months, and that Afghanistan was “teetering on the brink for months, nobody knew if it could come now, or in just a few months’ time”.

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Cupboard colleagues have defended Mr Raab saying the Afghan authorities was “melting faster than ice” and a name would have made little distinction.

Conservatives have privately been important of the Overseas Workplace response, one minister calling it a “shambles”. However some in authorities say the overseas secretary is “hardworking” and has been a “lightning rod for MPs anger with the People”.

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