One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson wants Australian soldiers to stay in Afghanistan. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson wants Australian soldiers to stay in Afghanistan. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Aussie troops must stay in Afghanistan, warns Hanson

PAULINE Hanson has warned Australian soldiers must stay in Afghanistan to prevent terrorist groups regaining a stronghold after flying to the war-torn country this week.

The One Nation leader has told The Australian she believes Australia must remain in the Middle Eastern nation or risk a Taliban resurgence or Islamic State gaining a new stronghold in the region.

She visited the region on a parliamentary study tour this week after three days of intensive training.

"I can see that we're going to be here for the long haul. It's very necessary that we do," Senator Hanson told the publication.

"You can see the changes that are happening in the country. One soldier came up to me and said 'Can you please tell the media and the people that we want to be here. This is the highlight of our careers. We've trained for this'," she said.

Senator Hanson has warned Islamic State could turn its sights to Afghanistan if Australia and western countries retreated from the region and abandoned their role mentoring local troops.

"If we do not deal with it now, their tentacles will filter throughout the world," she said.

There were also concerns the Taliban could return.

Senator Hanson said her visit was a great experience that had made her more aware of the issues in the region.

"It instilled in me that it is the right thing to do, that we stay here and deal with this," she said.

About 300 ADF members remain in Afghanistan as part of an ongoing mission to train local forces.

Senator Hanson was due to visit the Middle East on a parliamentary delegation last year but the trip was cancelled after it was flagged by the ABC.

Read the full story in The Australian.