Tory MP Tom Tugendhat Says Taliban are Running a ‘Slick PR Operation Masking a Death Cult’

Taliban supporters pray during a gathering to celebrate the US withdrawal of all its troops out of Afghanistan, in Kandahar on September 1, 2021 following the Talibans military takeover of the country. (Photo by JAVED TANVEER / AFP) (Photo by JAVED TANVEER/AFP via Getty Images)
JAVED TANVEER/AFP via Getty Images

Leading Tory MP Tom Tugendhat has said that the Taliban’s claims that Britons trapped in Afghanistan will be able to leave and promises of rights for women are nothing more than an example of “a slick PR operation masking a vicious death cult.”

On Wednesday, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Good Morning Britain that anyone “with proper documents” including British citizens will be able to leave the country as soon as civilian flights begin to fly again.

“Every Afghan citizen who is intending to go abroad to another country and has proper documents like passports, visas – they can go. And they can also come to Afghanistan,’ he said.

“But we urge them to stay in Afghanistan. As we have gained our independence, it is time for all Afghans to build their country. their capacities, their talents are direly needed.”

The Islamist spokesman went on to say that the Taliban will respect the human rights of women and that terror cells such as al Qaeda will not be allowed to operate.

Responding to the claims, Tory MP and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Commons, Tom Tugendhat said: “I’m afraid your viewers have just been lied to.

“It’s absolutely clear that groups who make up the Taliban… have been rounding up people in Lashkar Gah and Kandahar and hunting them down in Kabul and killing them.”

“Universities are being closed… women are being denied access to education, girls are being denied access to education, and civil servants, female civil servants, are being sent home.”

“What we are seeing is a slick PR operation masking a vicious death cult,” the Tory MP and former Army Lieutenant Colonel who served in Afghanistan declared.

Mr Tugendhat’s comments came after it emerged that MI6 intelligence agents met with Taliban figures in Kabul as well as Doha, Qatar, where the leadership of the Islamist militia operated from during their time in exile, according to The Telegraph.

The chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Sir Simon Gass, who was appointed as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s special representative for the Afghan transition over the weekend, also flew to Doha to hold talks with the Taliban to ensure the safe passage of Britons as well as Afghan allies out of the country.

While the UK has not officially recognised the Taliban as the official head of Afghanistan, it has hinted that should the medieval regime allow Britons to leave the country and abide by some international standards, diplomatic recognition is possible.

“We must face the reality of a change of regime in Afghanistan… We will judge this regime based on the choices it makes, and by its actions rather than by its words,” the PM said last month.

“On its attitude to terrorism, to crime and narcotics, as well as to humanitarian access and the rights of girls to receive an education. Defending human rights will remain of the highest priority, and we will use every available political and diplomatic means to ensure those human rights remain at the top of the international agenda.”

British Intelligence services are particularly concerned with the potential of Afghanistan once again becoming a hotbed for terrorism.

On Monday, the former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp warned that the UK is facing “the greatest danger from terrorism since Islamic State at its height”.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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