UK foreign secretary says allegations of no calls to Islamabad, Kabul ‘not credible, deeply irresponsible’

Monitoring Report

WASHINGTON: Brushing aside media reports that he did not speak to ministers in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the months preceding Kabul’s fall to the Taliban, and the evacuation crisis that followed, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab termed the allegations “not credible and deeply irresponsible”.

According to a report by Sunday Times, Dominic Raab had “shown no interest” in contacting the authorities in Islamabad and Kabul in the six months before the evacuation crisis.

Raab had thought of Afghanistan as “yesterday’s war” which no one wants to fight anymore, the newspaper reported, citing a Pakistani official.

The foreign secretary insisted, however, on Tuesday, that there had been a “team effort” across the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to communicate with the two countries.

The foreign secretary maintained that he had spoken to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on August 22 and 27, adding that so far, they have successfully evacuated over 17,000 people from Afghanistan since April 2021.

Minister for South Asia Lord Ahmed was responsible for talks with Pakistan and Afghanistan, said Dominic Raab.