Caller urges government to 'forget last 20 years' and 'engage' with Taliban

17 August 2021, 11:26 | Updated: 17 August 2021, 11:27

Caller wants government to 'engage with the Taliban'

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This caller urges the government to 'forget the last 20 years' and 'engage with the Taliban'.

Tony from Woodford called to speak to David Lammy after the Foreign Secretary admitted the UK Government did not see the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan coming, adding it will have to engage with them in the future in order to hold them to account for their actions.

The caller said he thought it was important to "forget the last twenty years, what's worked and what's not worked" and to look at the "dire situation" now.

Read more: Hundreds of desperate Afghans cram into US cargo plane as they flee Taliban

He asked why the Foreign Secretary or the US President was not "engaged with the Taliban."

Dominic Raab said several nations were "caught off-guard" by the quick and hostile nature of the militant group's takeover, which has prompted Afghans to flee the country.

Read more: Afghanistan: Desperate crowds cling to US aircraft at Kabul in bid to flee Taliban

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Citing the Northern Ireland peace process, Tony said, "we eventually done it with the IRA."

"We've talked to other terrorists."

Explaining his son had served twice in Afghanistan he called for a "peacekeeping force of 10,000" to be sent into the country to assist evacuations.

"Why just leave it like the wild west?"

Tony said his son was left bewildered and asking "what was the point" of his deployments to Afghanistan.

"He lost colleagues, they were blown to pieces, what was the point of their sacrifice?"

Around 900 armed forces are in Afghanistan helping to bring UK nationals home and secure the safety of selected Afghans.