(Photo credit: Rex Features / The Independent)
A senior official at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) has come forward with evidence that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the order to evacuate dogs and cats that belonged to Nowzad, an animal charity that operated in Afghanistan run by former British commando Paul “Pen” Farthing.
Josie Stewart, the senior FCDO official, stated that emails in her inbox contained references to the British PM’s decision to evacuate Nowzad.
But while Johnson has denied the claims, Stewart is the second whistleblower to come out with evidence – the first being Raphael Marshall.
While Stewart claims that she does not believe there was a deliberate decision to “prioritize animals over people,” the UK Labour Party shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said that this is “further confirmation that the prime minister put the lives of animals ahead of humans on a personal whim and then lied about doing so.”
Sir Philip Barton, the undersecretary of the FCDO, and Nigel Casey, the special representative for Afghanistan, were accused by Stewart of intentionally lying to the foreign affairs select committee that PM Johnson was not responsible for this decision.
The numerous emails that Stewart cited as evidence for her claims had included Casey among the various recipients, indicating he was aware of the PM’s role in the decision, despite his public denial.
During the chaotic withdrawal of US coalition troops from Afghanistan last August, desperate Afghans clung to the undercarriage of warplanes before plunging to their deaths over Kabul.
The actions by western powers during those days have been condemned by various influential figures in West Asia, specifically in relation to prioritizing animals over human beings.
In a speech from 17 August 2021, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah deplored the US for evacuating their police dogs yet “did not transport the Afghans who cooperated with them. They took their expensive equipment, yet they did not take the people.”