Kabul airport: Afghans ‘doing wrong thing’ by rushing to evacuate, ex-MP claims

Afghanistan: Former MP urges citizens not to flock to airports

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Elay Ershad MP said Afghans should not be trying to flee the country through Kabul airport without a visa or passport. About 12,000 foreigners and Afghans working for embassies and international aid groups have been evacuated from Kabul airport since Taliban insurgents entered the capital a week ago, a NATO official said. Asked if Afghans should be ‘stampeding’ to the airport, Ms Ershad told LBC: “One hundred percent they are doing the wrong thing because they don’t have any visa or passports.

“But still they are running towards the airport.

“They heard from people there are airplanes coming from Canada and America and they can put people in.

“People who have visas, passports and tickets can go – not everyone.

“My own family and friend have gone there and have spent up to three nights there and they came back very sad saying they couldn’t get into a plane and I told them you don’t even have a passport!”

It comes as the chaos at Kabul airport, besieged by thousands of people desperate to flee the country, was not the responsibility of the Taliban, the official of the militant group said. “The West could have had a better plan to evacuate.”

Gun-toting Taliban members around the airport have urged those without travel documents to go home.

At least 12 people have been killed in and around the airport since Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.

As Western nations have struggled to hasten evacuations amid the chaos and reports of Taliban violence, President Joe Biden confronted criticism about the planning for the withdrawal of US troops and the Islamist militants’ swift takeover.

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“I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies,” Biden told reporters after a speech from the White House on Friday.

“As a matter of fact, the exact opposite we’re acting with dispatch, we’re acting, committing to what we said we would do.”

He insisted every American who wanted to would be evacuated.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the situation outside Kabul airport “very dire and difficult”, as several member nations pressed for evacuations to continue beyond a US deadline of August 31.

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Biden has not backed off that deadline, despite calls – internationally and at home from fellow Democrats as well as opposition Republicans – to keep troops in Afghanistan as long as necessary to bring home every American.

Biden said he could not predict the final outcome in Afghanistan, where the United States and allies have waged a 20-year war.

But he promised to work with other countries to set “harsh conditions” for any cooperation with, or recognition of, the Taliban, based on their human rights record.

“They’re looking to gain some legitimacy, they’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to retain that country,” he said.

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