UK diplomat expresses deep concern over edicts undermining women, girls’ rights in Afghanistan

In a significant move highlighting the United Kingdom’s commitment to Afghanistan, Robert Dickson, the UK’s charge d’affaires for Afghanistan, visited Kabul this week.

The visit aimed to demonstrate the UK’s unwavering commitment to fostering a positive future for all people of Afghanistan, particularly women and girls, Dickson said in a tweet.

Amid the backdrop of ongoing challenges faced by Afghanistan, Dickson expressed his concerns regarding the country’s dire humanitarian situation.

He said Afghanistan has been plagued by half a century of conflict, compounded by a devastating drought exacerbated by the effects of climate change. More than 28 million Afghans are currently in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, and the economic outlook remains bleak, he added.

To address these pressing issues, the UK has already provided substantial support, with over $650 million in humanitarian assistance allocated since August 2021, Dickson stated.

He stressed the importance of finding a way forward amidst the current turmoil. In pursuit of this goal, he engaged in frank and open discussions with the Taliban leadership during his visit.

The Taliban representatives asserted that they had made progress in key areas such as counter-narcotics efforts, security enhancement, and combating corruption, he said. However, Dickson made it clear that the UK remains deeply concerned about policies and edicts that undermine the rights of women and girls. The discussions yielded an agreement that practical measures could be undertaken in collaboration to address the pressing needs of the Afghan people, including improvements in healthcare and education for all, he said.

Dickson emphasized that his visit underscored the UK’s steadfast commitment to a positive future for Afghanistan.

He said the UK government will continue to advocate for Afghan women and girls to have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. In pursuit of a secure and prosperous Afghanistan, the UK aims to work with all stakeholders, including the Taliban, to address the country’s challenges comprehensively, he said.

The visit by the UK chargé d’affaires serves as a powerful symbol of international support for Afghanistan. As the country grapples with complex issues, such as the humanitarian crisis and the protection of women’s rights, collaborative efforts between the UK and the Taliban could prove instrumental in shaping a better future for the people of Afghanistan.