UK 'should be proud' of work in Afghanistan say Shropshire MPs

Shropshire MPs have said the UK should be proud of its work in Afghanistan, amid criticism of the government for removing troops.

Daniel Kawczynski MP
Daniel Kawczynski MP

Parliament is being recalled for a debate in the House of Commons today.

Opposition MPs have said there are urgent questions to answer over resettlement programmes for Afghan nationals to be brought to the UK, and Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat branded the withdrawal of British troops as "abandoning the Afghan people.

Ludlow MP and former defence minister Philip Dunne is heading to London to take part in the debate.

"I went to Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014," he said. "We were planning the withdrawal of our forces. Our work since has been a training mission to help build up the Afghan armed forces.

"I think one of the tragedies of this situation is that since (former) President Trump did his trade deal with the Taliban, our effort to support the Afghan government has been undermined. Therefore the security forces, who rely heavily on the US for support, have been significantly weakened. It is a very tragic situation.

"I think it is important to remember that we've done some extremely good work in Afghanistan. We've helped educate women and children, made it a safer place and reduced the export of heroin."

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has requested to speak at the debate.

He said: "In reality there are a couple of questions which need to be asked. What has been the actual input into helping Afghanistan from the other Nato countries? We went into this on the premise that an attack on one Nato country is an attack on all Nato countries.

"But it seems that the UK and the US put the lion's share of resources into the theatre.

"I am very interested to know what has been the input from the other Nato countries. There are 30 members. There are countries that sent token forces and have not stepped up to the plate.

"I think the UK can be very proud of its contribution to the efforts in Afghanistan in the last 20 years to stabilise the country and provide a level of democracy.

"The second question is what support have Pakistan and Russia put in to help the Taliban? The UK sends a huge amount of money to Pakistan."

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