'Don't forget about us:' Kabul student, 22, says she has 'lost hope' as she urges West to act
A 22-year-old female student from Kabul says she has "lost hope" after the Taliban seized control of Kabul as she pleaded with Western governments not to “forget Afghan women”.
Aisha Ahmad was left badly bruised after getting caught up in the chaos at Kabul International airport on Sunday as thousands of people attempted to flee the militant takeover.
“The crowds were pushed by police, kids and women were on the ground, I was injured on my hands and feet and knees,” Ms Ahmad said after failing to board a flight.
Ms Ahmad is seeking asylum in the hope she can continue her education.
During the previous Taliban regime, educating girls over 10-years-old was banned and Ms Ahmed fears she will not be allowed to finish her studies now the Islamic militants will once again crack down on female education.
“I have lost my hope and I think it will not be an easy path,” she said.
“I feel like I’m in a tunnel… I can’t see any bright light and don’t know how long the tunnel is.”
Asked for the message she wishes to share with Western governments, she said: “Don’t forget the Afghan women… we should have the right to go to school.”
Ms Ahmad’s plea comes amid calls for the UK to accept more refugees from Afghanistan.
Mohammad Asif, a campaigner who fled Afghanistan himself 20 years ago, said the UK and US have “destroyed his home” and should take responsibility for their “greatest betrayal”.
“This is heartbreaking… you have thrown the entire population in the sea and then walked away from them,” the 54-year-old said.
Watch ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine’s eyewitness report from Kabul where he spoke to a Taliban commander and saw women’s beauty salons shut as the militants took over.
“This the biggest betrayal in our history… no matter for how long we live, this will be remembered.
“People tell me ‘go back home’ – you have destroyed my home, I have no home, where do I go?
“The British government should take responsibility and accept more Afghans.”
Mr Asif is director of Glasgow-based charity the Afghan Human Rights Foundation and said he welcomed a statement from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the nation is willing to “play our full part” to help Afghan refugees fleeing their country.
He added that the Home Office should follow suit and also “immediately” give amnesty to thousands of Afghan refugees he says are “in limbo” without settled status in the UK.
In May, Mr Asif took part in a mass protest against the detention of two men in Glasgow, surrounding a van holding two Indian nationals who had been detained by Border Force.