BBC guest breaks down as she discusses friend in Afghanistan
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As UK and US forces leave Afghanistan, BBC Breakfast hosts Nina Warhurst and Roger Johnson delivered the latest updates on the evacuation process of residents from Kabul airport. Speaking about the crisis, the pair spoke to Marzia Babakarkhail who was a judge in Afghanistan but was forced to leave by the Taliban and now fears for the lives of her friends left behind. On more than one occasion, Babakarkhail broke down in tears and had to be comforted by the presenters.
“There was an attempt on your life wasn’t there? What are your concerns for women there now?” Warhurst asked.
“Good morning, my main concern is about security of women and people in Afghanistan, the people who work with the government, with a different kid of organisation,” Babakarkhail replied.
“I’m very involved with Afghanistan even though I’m in the UK these days.
“For example, yesterday I received a message from a friend and she said, ‘Marzia,’ she’s heavily pregnant and she’s scared to go to hospital because of her identity as a judge, as a female judge.
“And some other friends, they work with the government like police women and they send me messages and say ‘We need money, we need credit but we can’t go out.’
“How can we help these people facing challenges because of the security and safety. I don’t know, what should I do?”
Babakarkhail broke down in tears as she thought about her colleagues and friends still in Afghanistan, despairing over their safety.
Warhurst exclaimed: “Oh Marzia, it’s unimaginable receiving a message from a friend about to have a baby but not feeling safe enough to be able to go to the hospital.”
“Can you imagine? Please the world should open their eyes,” Babakarkhail begged.
“An educated lady became a judge in Afghanistan, not an easy process, you work hard to become somebody in Afghanistan and the people sending me messages, they want to escape but there is not any options to escape.” Babakarkhail added: “They are in danger.”
Probing further, Warhurst asked: “And what will their feelings be towards the US and towards the UK who entered Afghanistan and made a promise and have now left?”
“So, it’s their decision but they left at a bad time,” Babakarkhail began crying once more. “We achieved a lot, I achieved a lot in my country. We worked very hard.
“I left my country at the age of 43 and I didn’t come willingly, believe me, I did not come willingly for asylum.
“I came because I was forced. I was forced by the Taliban. It’s a very tough for Afghanistan. We worked very hard.”
“Marzia, we are so sorry and understand it is very distressing,” Johnson assured the guest. “We’re so grateful to you for being so candid.”
The latest news from Afghanistan has seen Prime Minister Boris Johnson insist Britain will engage with the Taliban.
He said: “Together with our allies in America and Europe and around the world, we will engage with the Taliban not on the basis of what they say but what they do.
“If the new regime in Kabul wants diplomatic recognition, or to unlock the billions that are currently frozen, they will have to ensure safe passage for those who wish to leave the country, to respect the rights of women and girls, to prevent Afghanistan from, again, becoming an incubator for global terror, because that would be disastrous for Afghanistan.”
BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One from 6am.
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