Islamic scholar Dr Musharraf Hussain claimed the thousands of Afghans desperately trying to flee the war-torn country were “economic migrants” taking an opportunity to get a better life in the West. The Nottinghamshire County Council deputy lieutenant even claimed that people he knew who had relatives in Afghanistan saw “no fear” of the kind alleged in numerous reports.
This has included the fanatical militants drawing up a list of targets and going door-to-door looking for them.
His comments come amid more than 5,000 Britons and eligible Afghans from Kabul being flown out on UK flights since August 13, according to the British ambassador Sir Laurie Bristow.
Speaking from the evacuation handling centre in Kabul, he praised the efforts of soldiers, diplomats and Border Force staff who are helping the crisis and was “so proud of what our people are doing”.
Meanwhile, Dr Musharraf – who was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2008 – aired his outrageous views during an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham yesterday.
“I think what we have is an amazing opportunity for Afghanistan after 40 years of war in that place.
“So it’s really an opportunity for the Taliban to show that they can bring a really positive and good change.”
Ms Finn went on to address the Taliban’s previous record of human rights abuses – including public executions and stonings – when it held power from the mid-90s until 2001.
He replied: “Well, first of all let me make it absolutely clear that they are not the same people as in the 90s.
What do you think? Join the conversation here.
“Those were obviously very belligerent and foolish actions…
“They have made it absolutely clear that they will respect women and they will ensure that human rights are abided by.”
When Ms Finn pointed out that thousands of people are fleeing for their lives as the group takes control, he replied: “They are not fleeing for their lives.
“They are actually taking an amazing opportunity that is being provided to get asylum in the West.
“It’s not because they are fleeing for their lives as such really.
“(They are) economic migrants as such and it’s an opportunity for them.
“To escape the poverty of the country.”
However, it appears the British Government does not agree with his sentiments as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the ruling emir of Qatar agreed during a conversationtoday that the international community should “fully fund the aid response” in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, today regarding the situation in Afghanistan.
“He thanked the government of Qatar for its work in helping to facilitate ongoing evacuations from Kabul.
“The leaders discussed co-operation on the diplomatic effort to stabilise the situation in Afghanistan and ensure any new government is inclusive and abides by its international obligations.
“They agreed it was vital that the Afghan people continue to be supported with access to schools, hospitals and humanitarian assistance, and that the international community fully funds the aid response in Afghanistan and in the region.
“The Prime Minister also looked forward to welcoming Sheikh al-Thani to the Cop26 summit in November, noting the opportunities for Qatar to set ambitious emissions reductions targets.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Nottinghamshire County Council for a comment.