Over the past two decades, more than 450 UK military personnel have died in Afghanistan. Their sacrifice and significant UK support to build institutions includes a legacy of empowering women through education – and championing the rights of minorities – including Hazaras, Sikhs, Hindus, people who have changed their faith, and people with same sex attractions. During today’s hearing of the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Select Committee Inquiry, chaired by Baroness Anelay of St.Johns, I urged Ministers not to abandon those gains and to challenge the Taliban ideology of turning the clock back to the eighth century. What will happen to those gains if the Taliban returns to power? How will a new Emirate co-exist with pluralism, democracy, and the defence of human rights?
The full hearing is available on line: