Northampton communities rally together to support those affected by Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

'My hands are tied, my heart is broken, my eyes are always full of tears'
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Afghans and other communities in Northampton are rallying together to help their countrymen and lobby the British government following the Taliban takeover.

Northampton Afghan Community founder Obaidullah Khushull has offered his services to the MP and government as a former Afghan refugee himself.

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While Northamptonshire Council of Mosques is reaching out to people horrified by the shocking scenes from Afghanistan and particularly in the capital, Kabul, as the Taliban took over.

Taliban soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Getty ImagesTaliban soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Getty Images
Taliban soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Getty Images

Mr Khushull told the Chronicle & Echo: "My hands are tied, my heart is broken, my eyes are always full of tears as a fight started 20 years ago has ended up with a very bad ending.

"Nobody was expecting this, nobody dreamed they would come with these sorts of things back to the country.

"Everyone is devastated by this news and everybody is stunned by this news, nobody wants to believe the reality, they believe they are dreaming but it's not a dream, it's reality.

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"The Taliban came back and they will do whatever they do with the women, the young who have their lives in front of them, they will destroy their dreams.

Afghans head to Kabul airport in their droves to escape the Taliban. Photo: Getty ImagesAfghans head to Kabul airport in their droves to escape the Taliban. Photo: Getty Images
Afghans head to Kabul airport in their droves to escape the Taliban. Photo: Getty Images

"I don't blame people wanting to leave, they bargain them to stay but they don't want to as they have not changed."

Mr Khushull fled Afghanistan during the last Taliban regime, crossing 12,000 miles in the backs of lorries and cars with little sunlight or water before arriving in the UK.

He said he is eternally grateful to the government for giving him asylum and allowing him to later become a British citizen and making a new home for his family in Northampton.

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But Mr Khushull is angry with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and United States President Joe Biden for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan which has led to the Taliban takeover.

"There is lots people can do, the international community has kept quiet as every country is looking through America's eyes and they are following them," he said.

"So they could say you started this war, how can you leave these people to the terrorists? They are not Americans, or Europeans, but they are human beings - we fight for democracy, where's that democracy gone?

"We have a responsibility with our hearts and brains to our God."

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During its first occupation in the 1990s, the Taliban became internationally exiled for notorious human rights abuses and their strict interpretation of Sharia law.

Mr Khushull said he does not believe the Taliban's fresh claims it will respect human rights and give immunity to those who worked with the NATO allies or previous regime.

He said he did not blame people for wanting to flee the country and descending on Kabul airport in their droves, even clinging onto planes to escape despite knowing it was certain death.

"I am worried for the people suffering in Afghanistan and I have a moral responsibility to do whatever I can to let those who want to leave the country and not suffer any further," he said.

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"This is my aim. I'm offering support to the local MP, I am ready to risk my life and go there with the British troops and bring the people that work for freedom of speech, for democracy, who value human beings."

Enam Haque, one of the councillors for Castle ward at West Northamptonshire Council, which includes many Muslim people, has offered his support to anyone distressed by the scenes from Afghanistan.

"I am pleased to confirm that the Northamptonshire Council of Mosques will be reaching out to the communities at this time," he said.

"It is important we all show solidarity and offer support where it is needed."

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Fellow Castle councillor, Danielle Stone, added: “Castle councillors are committed do whatever we can to support our communities too.

"We can be reached through the West Northants Council website or through the Northampton Town Council website.

"These are very uncertain times and we must do what we can to help each other."