LONDON: The British Parliament has heard new evidence that the government has misjudged the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, according to The Observer.
New information from various departments and agencies confirmed the critical testimony of a British Foreign Office source, whose claim that his incompetence “killed people at the hands of the Taliban” dealt a serious blow to the government.
The Observer reported in August that thousands of emails about Afghans in serious danger had been left unread after the Taliban took over. Messages criticized by senior members of parliament and government ministers were also ignored.
Tom Tugendhat, the head of the inquiry, told the newspaper that the veterans had come to provide detailed information about the incident.
He cited information gathered last week from three Foreign Ministry officials, led by Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Barton, who had previously acknowledged that they had rested for 11 days after the Afghan capture of the Taliban, which Tugendhat described as “completely special”.
The lawmaker said he was “more confident” in Rafael Marshall’s testimony, which led to criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis.
“I did not hear anything that led him to believe that he was mistaken. He and many others like him deserve more than apologizing, ”Tugendhat said.
“They clearly set the standards of fairness and ethics that we should expect from high-ranking government officials, but we find these standards at the grassroots level, not at the top.”
He added that the investigation is now examining new evidence. “Since Tuesday’s hearing, people from other government departments and other agencies have come to me to offer their views on the events before and after August,” he said.
“We are talking about how to present their evidence,” he said. It’s just at the heart of something unacceptable, and there’s a very broad feeling that it should be better in the UK.”
In response to a question, a British government spokesman said: “Government officials have worked tirelessly to evacuate more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan in two weeks.
“This is the biggest task of all time and the second largest evacuation of any country,” he said. We work to help other people.
“The scale of the resettlement and the difficult situation mean that we have to make a ranking decision quickly to help as many people as possible.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to evacuate all the people we want, but our commitment to them is strong.
Since the end of the operation, we have helped more than 3,000 people leave Afghanistan.”
The committee will also discuss military withdrawal with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, Tugendhat said.
“We want to talk to the defense minister who has agreed to come,” he added. “We want to hear the military’s position on this,” he said. We want to talk to other people who have been involved in different fields. And we have to sit down and check a lot of the evidence. ”
Tugendhat said he wanted to make a final report on the incident before blaming individuals or departments for certain failures.
However, he called the scenario a “complete failure of the state,” including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense. He warned that Britain’s allies in Afghanistan had been abandoned as a result.
“Many people in Afghanistan today are guilty of nothing but wishing for a better future,” he added.
“However, today, the victory of the Taliban means that we see a very serious deterioration in the lives of individuals,” he said.
“In many ways, we are already seeing that,” he said. We see girls being denied education and women being excluded from work. These are very serious attacks on civil liberties. “
Tugendhat said there were still questions about the evacuation of about 200 dogs and cats from the war-torn country.
Some figures say the animals were chosen to be evacuated instead of those occupying significant space on a flight from Kabul.
The rescue operation was led by Peng Farting, a former Royal Marine who heads the Novzad Dogs charity.
Commenting on the “unrest”, Marshall said that important resources in Kabul had been donated to charity at the expense of Afghans who had worked with British forces in the country for many years.
“Foreign ministry officials have made it clear that nothing has changed the stockpile. They also made it clear that the military took the time to open the door and let these animals in. I don’t understand how the two statements fit together,” Tugendhat said.