UK Parliament to be recalled over Afghan crisis

The UK Parliament will be recalled on Wednesday from their summer recess to debate the British government’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan as Taliban has captured Kabul and entered the Presidential Palace, the House of Commons confirmed.

MPs will return to Westminster for a session from 9.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. over the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of US, British and NATO troops, reports Xinhua news agency.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also held an emergency COBRA meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, Downing Street has said.

COBRA is shorthand for the Civil Contingencies Committee that is convened to handle matters of national emergency or major disruption.

After the meeting, Johnson told reporters that the US decision to pull out of Afghanistan has “accelerated things”, and added “no one wants Afghanistan to become a breeding ground for terror”.

The UK has deployed 600 troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate British nationals and local interpreters.

British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace on August 13 had said the US decision to pull its troops out of Afghanistan was a “mistake”, which has handed the Taliban “momentum” in the country.

“Of course I am worried, it is why I said I felt this was not the right time or decision to make because, of course, Al Qaeda will probably come back, certainly would like that type of breeding ground,” he told Sky News.

After days of capturing provincial capital cities, the Taliban started entering Kabul from all sides on Sunday morning.

Though the Taliban had earlier said that there is no plan to enter the Afghan capital militarily, the security vacuum in Kabul made them direct their fighters to enter and occupy the empty police outposts and police districts.

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani along with his close aides and the first lady left Kabul for Tajikistan, the Taliban also managed to enter the Presidential Palace or Arg.