“We are cooperating with the Taliban on the ground and that seems to be a very straightforward relationship,” says General Sir Nick Carter
General Sir Nick Carter, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said that the Taliban ‘want an Afghanistan that is inclusive for all’.
The Taliban is reportedly “cooperating” with British military forces as they work to evacuate people from the nation of Afghanistan and is not behaving in a “medieval way”, the chief of the UK defence staff has now said.
General Sir Nick Carter said to Sky News: “We are cooperating with the Taliban on the ground and that seems to be a very straightforward relationship.
“They are keeping the streets of Kabul very safe and indeed very calm. They are helping us at the airport.”
He said that the militants are “keeping the streets calm, they are avoiding public disorder”, and added: “What we’re not getting are reports of them behaving in a medieval way like you might have seen in the past.”
This comes after a spokesman for the Taliban says it is holding talks aimed at forming an “open, inclusive Islamic government” with the deputy leader of the group releasing a video saying they plan to “give serenity to the whole nation”.
Sir Nick has suggested that the Islamist movement, which has taken power in the nation of Afghanistan, could be more moderate than when it was last in control back in the 1990s.
He said he does not think the Taliban “want to become international pariahs again”, adding: “I do think that they have changed.”
However, the shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy disagreed with Sir Nick’s comments, saying the UK is “dealing with a very oppressive regime”.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to tell MPs that there must be an immediate increase in aid to Afghanistan in order to avert a humanitarian crisis.
MPs have been recalled from their summer holidays for an emergency sitting in Parliament on Wednesday to take part in a five-hour debate on the situation in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday night, the prime minister announced a new settlement scheme will allow up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghan refugees to come to the UK over the coming years.
This comes after British forces going back into Afghanistan is “not on the cards”, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has now said. Mr Wallace said it was not yet the right time to decide on whether to recognise the Taliban as the Afghan government.
The Taliban has claimed it is not seeking revenge after regaining control of the country after being ousted two decades ago.
Speaking from the Afghan presidential palace on Tuesday, Zabihullah Mujahid referred to Afghanistan as the “Islamic Emirate” and said the group is committed to the rights of women within the framework of Sharia, or Islamic law.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News that “thousands” of schools continue to operate following the Taliban takeover and claimed women will have the right to work and be educated up to university level.