British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said reports of lack of contact with Afghan and Pakistani counterparts for several months prior to the Afghan crisis were “unreliable, deeply irresponsible.”
Raab recently faced questions about whether he should return early from vacation, potential evacuees who could not be answered, the number of Afghans left behind, and his general response to the crisis.
The Sunday Times, citing an unknown Pakistani official, reported that Raab was “not interested” in receiving calls from the governments of either country during the six months prior to the evacuation.
Raab, who made his first round in the media since the accusation, suggested today that he was the victim of some political blame game.
He said there was a “team effort” to communicate with the two countries across the Foreign, Commonwealth Office and the Department of Development.
Rab told Sky News: Unreliable, it’s very irresponsible. “
Rab said evidence of his department’s ability to cope with the crisis lies in the fact that they have helped evacuate 17,000 people since April.
Rab told LBC Radio that when he spoke to his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, he was under precise pressure and lacked information.
Raab’s response to the crisis has been criticized not only by the Labor Party, but also by several prominent voices within the Conservative Party.
However, former leader Iain Duncan Smith described the current avalanche of criticism of Raab as “childish and pathetic.”
“Most of the briefings for Dominic Raab are pretty childish and pathetic in the process of a crisis that wants to solve this problem,” he told LBC.
“As long as they are doing their job and you want them to continue doing that job, you don’t want to argue if anyone should be there.”
Raab will face a grill from Congressman tomorrow on how to deal with the crisis when he appears in front of the Foreign Affairs Task Force, chaired by Afghan veteran Congressman Tom Tagendat.
Mr. Tugendat has already stated that the committee will investigate the crisis.
PA contributed to this report.