A woman has emotionally told of being “very worried” about her elderly parents who remain in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over.
The militant group moved into Kabul on Sunday ending two decades of the UK and its allies trying to transform the country.
The 45-year-old woman was in tears at the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA) in Feltham, west London, on Tuesday while saying her family needs “help”.
Speaking with her four-year-old son, she said: “I want peace and justice for my country, I am worried about my country and my people and I am very sad.
“Today is one of the darkest days in the history of Afghanistan.
“I am very sad, my family is there, I spoke yesterday, I talk with them everyday, I ask about how difficult it is for them because they are my father and my mum.
“They are in Afghanistan, Kabul, they were worried and scared when the Taliban came, they were shocked.
“They see the Taliban going past in their cars on the road.”
The woman said she is sceptical about claims the Taliban have changed and modernised since 2001.
She went on: “I had very bad memories and a bad experience when they were in Afghanistan, I was a student at university.
“When the Taliban came I stayed at home and could not go to work, go to university or schools and I saw what the Taliban did.”
Asked what her parents will do, she emotionally said: “I don’t know, they are in Kabul but the flights are not working.
“It’s very busy, they are staying at home and I am very worried about them because they need help – they are old people.
“Someone needs to help.”
Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi, who founded the ACAA, which supports refugees, said the situation is “very horrible”.
He spoke of hearing from families in the country who say the Taliban are searching people’s houses.
Dr Nasimi said: “People have been crying since this has happened, expressing their emotion, their anxiety – it is unbelievable to see such a big U-turn.
“The Taliban was defeated after the intervention in 2001 and suddenly after 20 years they are in control, in charge of the country.”
He added: “We have a first category of people who are seriously concerned about the life of their sisters, the lives of their brothers and the lives of their fathers and mothers and other family members.
“The second category of people think more strategically about the future of the country, they think there’s a very strong need for setting up a new transition for the future of Afghanistan.”