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19th Jan, 2022

Daughter's plea to PM Boris Johnson to help save mother from Taliban

A DISTRAUGHT daughter whose mother is being hunted by the Taliban has penned a desperate letter for help to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Originally from Afghanistan, Shabnam Nishat now lives with her husband and their four young children in Whitnash, after moving to the UK in 2007.

Her father died earlier this month and she has not heard from her mother, brother or sister since the Taliban stormed their home while they were at the hospital on November 8.

She has appealed to Mr Johnson for an extension to the resettlement scheme, increased aid, and a resumption of evacuation flights.

Shabnam’s mother, who cannot be named in the interests of her safety, was a regional politician who fought against the Taliban and advocated for women’s rights – working with the UN and other international charities.

Her work in politics has made her a target for Taliban Islamists who stormed back to power after the UK and US military withdrawal. They have now been back in control of the war-ravaged country for more than 100 days.

Shabnam – a student at Warwickshire College, who also works as a supervisor at Briar Hill Infant School – says she lives in constant fear her family has been killed and hopes her children will be able to see their grandmother again.

Militants have already threatened to kill her mother during a phone call.

In her heartfelt letter to Mr Johnson, Shabnam said: “My mother is being hunted by the Taliban. I do not know whether she is alive.

“My beloved father suffered a severe heart attack and died last week. I haven’t had the strength to grieve him yet. He left my mother, my brother, and my sister alone in hiding – as the Taliban searches for them.

“They have no mercy. My family is in danger.

“I regret the negligence of your government and its failure to get my family to safety – along with thousands of others. I regret the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, which has covered my country in darkness.

“The Taliban is looking for women who used to work in the government. Last week, four female politicians like my mother were killed.

“I do not know why you are silent. Your Government deserted my country and left it for the Taliban – ruining any progress that was made before.

“The UK and the western powers have left Afghanistan in a worse position than when they intervened.

“Please open your heart to people like my mother who fought for a better Afghanistan for all.

“Please do something. Help my mother. Help the Afghan people.”

Shabnam’s family was one of 25 that approached Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western for assistance with evacuating their stranded relatives before the last UK troops withdrew from Afghanistan in August.

Mr Western is demanding action from the UK government to help those who remain in Afghanistan.

 

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