A former head of the British Army has called for international aid to be returned to Afghanistan despite the Taliban’s human rights abuses.
Francis Richard Dannatt, Baron Dannatt, said the withdrawal of aid had led to babies dying and people going hungry – and that the lack of education for women and other human rights failures are not a price worth paying.
It comes a year after Western troops left the Afghan capital of Kabul and the Taliban took control of the country.
Aid is still being sent to Afghanistan, but it is distributed through NGOs and charities and does not go to the Taliban, according to the Foreign Office.
Speaking to Sky News, Lord Dannatt said: “We quite unnecessarily withdrew in precipitate haste a year ago, but then I think absolutely outrageously have cut aid to Afghanistan.
“Such that the people, the babies, are in a condition your film has just shown right across the country.
“People are starving.
More on Afghanistan
“We went there to help the Afghan people and now we’re just actually watching them suffer – I think it’s outrageous.
“And I think Priti Patel and other members of the government should take no pride in what is happening.
“They should be starting again – as should the Americans who are principally responsible for what happened – should be significantly increasing their aid packages again to allow the people to have food and to thrive in Afghanistan.”
It comes as a report from US Republicans in the House of Representatives criticised how the country withdrew from Afghanistan, saying that crucial decisions were not made until just “hours before the Taliban seized Kabul”.
Lord Dannatt added: “[The withdrawal] having happened, the West said, well, we don’t like the Taliban, so we’re going to cut off aid to this country.
“Having cut off aid to Afghanistan – that is why babies are dying in hospitals, that is why people are starving up and down the country.
“Now, is that right? As I said before, when we spent 20 years building up Afghanistan, Afghanistan society, we spent 20 years helping the people.
“Why should we suddenly stop helping the people now because we don’t like the Taliban?
Read more:Evacuation of Kabul happened in ‘chaos and confusion’ with ‘tragic yet avoidable outcomes’, damning report claims
Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
Afghan children victims of aid cuts
“Yes, their human rights record is not good, they have stopped second girls going to secondary school.
“But is that the right price to pay for the majority of Afghan people to be starving and babies to be dying?
“I don’t think so.”
Subscribe to Out Of Afghanistan on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Spreaker
Source : Sky News