He and colleague Kevin King were released in 2019 in exchange for three senior commanders of the Haqqani network, a Taliban faction known for staging guerilla-style attacks on US-led NATO forces and Afghanistan soldiers.
“I first came to Afghanistan six years ago, as you know, in 2016, and I came here with a dream to learn about Afghanistan, and now I’m coming again to complete my journey,” he said.
DFAT also reminded people that its travel advice for Afghanistan is ‘Do Not Travel’ due to the extremely dangerous security situation and the very high threat of terrorist attack.
Amnesty International Australia Refugee Rights Campaigner Zaki Haidari described the visit as “outrageous” and said the footage was “disturbing to watch”.
‘What is there to celebrate?’
Ahmad Shuja Jamal, a former director-general for international relations and regional cooperation at the Afghan National Security Council, said the public should be mindful of others who had been given similar treatment by the Taliban.
“I hope he sees that duality of the life that he and his family get to choose in Australia and freely and versus the life imposed (by the Taliban), that he supports, for the Afghan people in Afghanistan,” Mr Jamal said.
Who is Timothy Weeks?
“Sometimes I felt like it was ‘good cop, bad cop’ because [one commander] would beat me, and then the other ones would come in and they were so kind and compassionate towards me,” he said.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been contacted for comment.