This week on Scotland Calling we’re focusing on the unfolding events in Afghanstan, as we hear from our own reporters who have worked as journalists and served in the military there, and find out more about what Scottish politicians are saying on the Taliban takeover.
‘I served in Afghanistan – its collapse into anarchy saddens me but it’s no surprise’
Reporter Stephen Stewart went to Afghanistan first as an embedded journalist, and then as a serving soldier. Read his compelling account of what it was like there, as he reflects on his deployments in the week US and NATO forces pulled out, and the Taliban swept into the capital.
Every one in kabul is safe and good. r u planning to come to kabul?”
Also: In this week’s Stooshie Diary, David Mac Dougall writes about his time working as a journalist in Afghanistan, as it saw moments of optimism with democratic elections and a blossoming civil society; but also times of great sorrow with Taliban terror attacks that left some of his own colleagues dead and wounded.
‘A living death’: Lewis charity aiming to bring female students to Scotland to escape the Taliban
A charity helping women in Afghanistan get an education and jobs wants to bring students to Scotland amid fears for their future under Taliban rule.
The Linda Norgrove Foundation was set up by the family of the Scottish aid worker who was kidnapped by the Taliban, and later killed as US Special Forces tried to rescue her.
As John Ross reports, the charity will now seek visas for 10 students it supports, as well as for two staff members currently too frightened to leave their homes, so they can come to safety in Scotland.
Calls for refugees to be housed in Aberdeen following Afghanistan crisis
Aberdeen must “play its part” and welcome refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country, says one local councillor.
As Jamie Hall reports, Aberdeen City Council will consider a motion to approve the resettlement of refugees in the city.
It’s being brought forward by SNP councillor Michael Hutchison, a former army reservist who served with the United Nations.
Afghanistan: What can we learn from the Syrian refugee crisis when it comes to helping people fleeing the Taliban?
In September 2015 both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and former Prime Minister David Cameron made commitments to help those displaced by the civil war in Syria by launching the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Rachel Amery reports on a Scots woman who worked at refugee camps in Greece, and who says that challenging misconceptions about refugees needs to be a top priority when it comes resettling Afghans. Read the full story here.
In case you missed it:
- The UK will take in 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan. Read more.
- Scottish MPs demand more action from the UK Government to help people left behind in Afghanistan. Read more.
- UK officials though have vowed to speed up the pace of Afghanistan evacuations. Read more.
- Boris Johnson is talking about a coordinated international approach to dealing with a Taliban-lead government in Kabul. Read more.
Calls for four-nation summit over response to Afghanistan crisis
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has called for a four-nations summit amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
As Derek Healey reports, Mr Blackford said it is crucial UK ministers work with the devolved governments and show leadership by “opening our doors” and providing safe routes for resettlement for those whole lives have been thrown into turmoil. Read the full story here.
In case you missed it:
- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab came under pressure to resign over his handling of the situation. Mr Raab was still on holiday in Crete even as the Taliban were re-taking Kabul. Read more here.
- Boris Johnson has already ruled out any public inquiry about how the UK Government has reacted to events in Afghanistan. Read more here.
- Conservative MP has been urged to correct a statement he made in Westminster, where he claimed Glasgow had been the only Scottish city to take in Syrian refugees. In fact all 32 Scottish local councils participated in a refugee resettlement programme for Syrians. Read more here.