Conservative US radio host thanks PM Imran for aiding evacuation of vulnerable Afghans

Updated 20 Sep 2021
The right-wing radio host Glenn Beck shared an image of Afghans on a flight leaving Mazar-i-Sharif. TWITTER
The right-wing radio host Glenn Beck shared an image of Afghans on a flight leaving Mazar-i-Sharif. TWITTER

A letter by American radio host Glenn Beck to Pakistan's Prime Minister thanking the premier for his assistance in securing the departure of hundreds of Afghans is gaining popularity on social media since it was posted Monday.

The radio host, who identifies as Christian and conservative, and is a vocal critic of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis in Afghanistan, said on Sept. 7 that he raised $35m to evacuate Afghan Christians, American citizens and other vulnerable groups "so they don't get murdered by the Taliban."

In the video below, he reads a letter in which he claims the Taliban acknowledges Beck's plane holding Afghans is being held by them. Beck said it disproved all the naysayers who doubted Beck's initiative to evacuate the vulnerable Afghans.

In Monday's statement letter, Beck expresses his gratitude to Pakistan's Prime Minister for assisting in getting the first two flights out of Mazar-e-Sharif.

In a long thread on Twitter, Beck explains how he reached out to several leaders to ask for their assistance in getting the planes to leave Afghanistan but only Imran Khan stepped up to offer his help.

"…we received an immediate response to our requests from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan who then acted on his willingness to assist. Collectively, we transcended religious differences, political divides, national boundaries and local dynamics - it was about a humanitarianeffort aimed at saving innocent victims facing certain death if left behind in a war ravaged country where misunderstanding and suspicion take priority at present. He took the lead to save innocent lives irrespective of politics, race, religion or culture," he says in the thread.

After showering Khan's swift action as well as recognizing efforts by Pakistan's civilian and military in talking to Taliban to secure the evacuation, Beck ended his thread with: "Let no one fool you, the #FIFA #AfghanWomen #Olympic #soccer team. Are out because of YOU and #ImranKhan."

He said he would share the details on his talk show on Monday.

Beck is a controversial figure in American media as he's often seen as someone who peddles conspiracy theories. When the Taliban was not allowing the chartered flights to leave Mazar-i-Sharif, for example, Beck blamed "lollygagging diplomats and an uncaring Biden has left thousands of American citizens and vulnerable Afghans to the mercy of the new regime," according to the article in Talking Points Memo.

Beck has been criticized for using his platform as a "megaphone" during a delicate time the Biden administration was trying to figure out how to evacuate the Americans out of Mazar-i-Sharif using private charters in a conflict zone -- which as an article in TPM states was "a complicated process occurring in a near-warzone that involves vetting passenger manifests and getting destination countries to issue landing authorizations."

But Beck remained undeterred tweeting against the Biden administration which was trying to evacuate the planes out of Mazari-iSharif.

Beck 's claims that his people were being held hostage was also criticized but he also admitted on a radio show that his "subordinates were telling him to shut his mouthover revealing operational details about the evacuation."

“None of the members of our flights were held hostage,” sa member familiar with the evacuation process told TPM. “The Taliban wants to be seen as this benevolent government, and we know who they are – but the point is that this western savior complex is really playing negatively.”

In the meanwhile Pakistanis took to Twitter to express their gratitude for Khan's leadership and Beck's recognition of it.

PTV also shared Beck's thread saying the Prime Minister helped people in the time of need, though they mistakingly refered to Beck as a her.

Americans also expressed their support for Beck's efforts.

But not everyone was convinced that it was benevolent.