Hundreds contacting MP's office daily fearing for relatives in Afghanistan

The Taliban pictured in Kabul, Afghanistan by Ashna Shinwari, who lives in Norwich 

The Taliban pictured in Kabul - Credit: Contributed

Hundreds of people a day are writing to a Norwich MP begging for help for loved ones in Afghanistan. 

Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP, said a large number of constituents are "desperately worried". 

They are imploring him to urge the government to do much more to help those stranded in the Taliban-occupied country. 

Mr Lewis said: "Polling has shown that the British public is overwhelmingly in favour of helping Afghan people to safety. Well over two million displaced Afghans have already been taken in by neighbouring India and Pakistan.

"And while the UK government drags its heels over helping just 20,000 Afghans, much smaller and far less wealthy Tajikistan has committed to offering refuge to 100,000 people.

"If other countries like these are confident they can help, is there really any reason why our own government can’t do the same?"

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Antony Kelly

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

The UK evacuation operation has ceased with the government saying the potential for terrorist attacks, particularly around Kabul airport, remains very high. 

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The government has said British nationals who remain in Afghanistan are strongly encouraged to register their presence and will receive updates. 

A support page has been set up for Afghan nationals who are approved for assistance under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy. 

But criticising the withdrawal, Mr Lewis said: "Our politicians ploughed millions of pounds into the twenty-year Afghan military conflict and were always very keen to play up the West’s intelligence and logistical superiority.

"I can’t believe those capabilities have evaporated over the course of just a few weeks."

Zahid Shinwari, 19, of White House Court in Upper Hellesdon, is among those in the city area who still have relatives desperate to flee Afghanistan.

Zahid Shinwari is pictured on the left with his elder brother Hikmat in Norwich

Zahid Shinwari is pictured on the left with his elder brother Hikmat in Norwich - Credit: Contributed

Mr Shinwari's 16-year-old sister, two younger brothers, aged nine and eight, and his parents are in Jalalabad in the east of the country. 

His MP Chloe Smith has been contacted for comment.

Mr Lewis added: "This is a city with a proud history of offering help to incomers and I know we are more than happy to continue that tradition given the chance again.”

Meanwhile, The Lady Dannant, Lord- Lieutenant of Norfolk, has praised the effort to prepare accommodation for Afghan refugees arriving in the county.

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