Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck announced Sunday via Twitter that nearly 100 refugees held at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport in northern Afghanistan have safely evacuated the area — a victory owed, at least in part, to the prime minister of Pakistan.
The group included 32 FIFA soccer players and their families as well as members of religious minorities who would face certain persecution at the hands of the Taliban.
In a statement, Beck expressed gratitude to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, whom he said “transcended religious differences, political divides, national boundaries and local dynamics” to save “men, women, and children, innocent victims facing certain suffering, hardship or worse if left behind in a war-ravaged country where uncertainty, misunderstanding and suspicion remain prevalent.”
“His leadership of placing humanity before politics is a great example of inter-faith cooperation between the faiths, bridged by the shared value of human compassion,” Beck wrote. “Prime Minister Khan’s tireless leadership, supported by the military and civilian resources of Pakistan and their ability to cooperate with the Taliban, has enabled the first of [two] flights to depart Mazar-i-Sharif with FIFA female athletes and their families on board, in keeping with their unequivocal pledge to allow civilian allies of NATO forces to depart safely if they wished to.”
Beck explained on his radio program Monday morning that the U.S. State Department “blocked” the operation spearheaded by The Nazarene Fund, a humanitarian organization focused on evacuations from Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal and the Taliban’s takeover of the Middle Eastern country in late August. The commentator claimed U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Daniel Rosenblum blocked the airplanes from landing in Uzbekistan, forcing the rescue team to redraw their exit plans.
“They have blocked us every single step of the way,” Beck said.
Beck wrote the following in his letter to the prime minister:
At a time of great divisions in the world, I reach out to you as a brother in faith. Knowing you as a kind Muslim, my Christian faith compels me to write directly to you on a matter of human compassion not religious ideology or national interest. As is widely being reported in the global media, my organization is leading a humanitarian effort to evacuate people for whom Afghanistan is no longer their home. That is not a question of who won or who lost, but rather a humanitarian exercise to help the innocent victims in need.
Some of my colleagues have reached out directly to Lt. Gen. Hameed, however, I thought it of critical importance to request this support directly from you as the elected leader of Pakistan. Your and Pakistan’s assistance in this moment is something which America will never forget, regardless of which party is in power.
According to Beck, Khan swiftly replied to his request.
“He took the lead to save innocent lives irrespective of politics, race, religion or culture,” wrote Beck. “No other global leader that we have seen took such initiative to leverage his/her position to save the innocent, putting humanity before politics and showing how much the great faiths have in common on the bridge of compassion.”
“He has been gracious with his time and never once questioned our motives,” he added. “We have spoken about our different faiths and how, when truly executed in their highest form, innocent life must be protected and saved.”
Beck concluded his thread by asserting the Pakistani leader “should be recognized for the lives he helped save this weekend,” adding, “I sincerely thank him and pray he continues to help us work to build a bridge with a common internet of protecting innocent, precious lives.”
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