First and foremost, I do recognise what a vitally important issue this is, and I am diligently actioning all individual casework raised by my constituents in relation to British and non-British nationals in Afghanistan. Please be assured that I will continue to take forward these specific cases with the utmost urgency.
The pace at which the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated was unprecedented. Ministers and their departments have reacted swiftly and decisively to events, fast-moving as they are, and indeed to this new and unforeseen reality.
The Prime Minister has been very clear that any international recognition of the Taliban must be coordinated and contingent on the group upholding internationally agreed standards on human rights. Ensuring continued safe passage for those Afghans wishing to leave the country is also essential, as is the importance of Afghanistan not becoming a safe haven for terrorism once again. The UK is working to unite the international community, Pakistan included, behind a clear plan for dealing with this regime in a unified and concerted way.
The Prime Minister has spoken directly with Prime Minister Khan to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and to underline the importance of the above points; as has the Foreign Secretary, who met with Foreign Minister Qureshi in September. The Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Nigel Casey, visited Pakistan in November to hold meetings with senior Pakistani officials on matters related to Afghanistan.
I am assured that my ministerial colleagues will continue closely engage with the Government of Pakistan, directly and via the UN, when it comes to Afghanistan.