British imperial history matters to Afghanistan

Thursday, 2nd December 2021

Crowds at Kabul International Airport_photo voa wikimedia commons

Crowds at Kabul airport. [Voa Wikimedia Commons]

• IN central London I noticed a pop-up charity art exhibition. I was told the proceeds would go to Afghan refugees.

I am an older Afghan myself. And I would ask for humanitarian assistance in a defenceless Afghanistan, while my bewildered homeland starves under British sanctions.

The persistent problem has been the suspicious interweaving of humanitarian and military aims.

Disturbing reports on the tragedy of Kabul airport described the way British soldiers had taken over aid to the Afghan poor.

And the propaganda pictures in the Fleet Street press of Paras holding helpless Afghan tots encapsulated, if unintentionally, the way humanitarian and military objectives have been confused. Babysitting is not part of the job description.

I suppose Afghanistan has become a trendy Third World theme just as Biafra was in the 1960s and Ethiopia was later.

But the British press senselessly forgets the way British imperialism has butchered the terrified Afghan people. There have been four cruel British invasions over the last two grim centuries.

ZEKRIA IBRAHIMI, W12

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