Written evidence from the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office |
1. Afghanistan and Pakistan are this Government's
top priorities in Foreign Affairs. Violent extremism in both countries
poses a threat to UK interests and to regional stability and claims
the lives of thousands of civilians and security personnel. Extremism
and the instability it causes also hold back good governance,
development and economic progress in both countries. It is in
Britain's national interest to work with international allies
and with the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to reduce
the threat from violent extremism and shore up long-term stability
in the region.
2. The UK's objective is to prevent Afghanistan
once again becoming a place from which al-Qaeda and other extremists
can attack the UK and our interests. Our policy has four main
- 1. A more stable and secure Afghanistan;
- 2. The conditions for withdrawal of UK combat
troops by 2015, including capable Afghan National Security Forces;
- 3. An Afghan-led political settlement that
represents all Afghan people;
- 4. Regional political and security co-operation
that supports a stable Afghanistan.
3. The UK will work with the Afghan Government,
regional partners, international allies and multilateral institutions
to achieve these goals. From 2015, UK forces will no longer have
a combat role in Afghanistan. But this will not signal the end
of our engagement in Afghanistan. Our civilian and economic support
will intensify over the next five years as we move away from international
military intervention and Afghanistan stabilises further. We will
also continue UK training and support for the Afghan National
4. It is for the Afghan people to shape a political
settlement which reflects the needs and aspirations of all Afghan
people. Britain will support an eventual settlement that is representative,
gives no one group disproportionate influence, upholds human rights
and the rule of law and reflects Afghanistan's culture and Constitution.
5. On Afghanistan the total civilian programme
expenditure is expected to be in excess of £220 million in
2010-11. This is made up of Department for International Development
(DFID), Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Foreign and Commonwealth
Office (FCO) funds with contributions from the jointly managed
6. The UK is committed to an enhanced, long-term
strategic Partnership with Pakistan with four key strands:
- To help Pakistan overcome its short and long-term
challenges from violent extremism, reducing significantly the
threat to Pakistan and UK citizens.
- To help Pakistan tackle her longer-term structural
challenges, relating to governance, the economy and development,
including tackling the significant problems of accelerating population
growth and limited educational opportunities.
- To work with Pakistan to make the region safer
and more secure, taking account of Pakistan's legitimate interests
but also those of others.
- To deepen our bilateral ties, acknowledging the
very strong historical and cultural links between the UK and Pakistan,
as exemplified by the million strong Pakistan community in the
7. In particular, the Government will work to
help Pakistan entrench a democratic, accountable and functioning
civilian government. In support of the Strategic Partnership,
the Government has re-invigorated the UK-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue
and is committed to advocating international support for Pakistan
through engagement with the US and multilateral fora such as the
Friends of Democratic Pakistan.
8. The UK and Pakistan also share strong economic,
cultural, and familial ties. The UK is the second largest bilateral
overseas investor in Pakistan and the fourth largest trading partner
(over £1 billion of bilateral trade annually). There are
around one million British people of Pakistani heritage in the
UK, and there is substantial migration from Pakistan to the UK.
In 2009-10, 79,222 visas were issued to Pakistani nationals globally.
The positive potential of the Diaspora links is enormous and it
is important that we continue to support these connections. We
welcome the establishment of the British-Pakistan Foundation.
9. The UK currently contributes £665 million
over four years (2009-10 to 2013-14) in development assistance,
and further amounts in support of counter-terrorism, conflict
prevention and defence assistance. The UK's total spending on
assistance to Pakistan for financial year 2009-10 is £158.8
UK POLICY TOWARDS
10. The Government in coming into office undertook
a stock take of UK policy towards Afghanistan and endorsed the
current strategy. The Government fully supports the North Atlantic
Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the International Security Assistance
Force's (ISAF) strategy in Afghanistan: to assist the Afghan Government
in exercising its authority and influence throughout the country,
paving the way for reconstruction and effective governance. That
requires the protection of the population, the provision of more
effective governance at every level and the creation of an Afghan
security force that is able to maintain security and prevent the
return of al-Qaeda.
11. We believe that, alongside the Afghan Government
and international partners, we are pursuing the right strategy
in Afghanistan. Work on increasing the size and capability of
the Afghan National Army (ANA) is ahead of schedule. The right
and necessary number of forces are now deployed in Afghanistan.
There have been two sets of Afghan-run elections in two years,
giving Afghan people a say in the future of their country.
12. The London Conference on 28 January marked
a clear commitment to a political strategy to complement the military
surge. The Kabul Conference on 20 July - the first international
conference on Afghanistan in Afghanistan - followed this up. It
set out the Afghan-led Kabul process, which aims to accelerate
Afghanistan's ability to govern itself, to reduce dependence on
the international community, to enhance Afghanistan's security
forces and to provide better protection for the rights of all
its citizens. The international community will need to support
the Afghan Government in delivering this. The UK is intensifying
and reinvigorating our development efforts in line with the Afghan
Government's priorities. This includes a 40% increase in UK development
aid. We will work closely with the Afghans, the United States
and others to accelerate the stabilisation effort in central Helmand
and the 81 key districts identified under the ISAF plan. It is
right to maintain the effort because any lesser alternative would
have serious consequences for Afghanistan, Pakistan and for our
own national security.
13. The Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team
(PRT), headquartered in Lashkar Gah, is a UK, civilian-led, multinational
team helping the Afghan Government deliver effective government
and security across Helmand Province. The PRT works to a single
Helmand Plan agreed with the Afghan Government and international
partners in 2006. The plan is structured around seven themes:
Politics and Reconciliation; Governance; Rule of Law (Justice,
Police and Prisons); Security; Economic and Social Development;
Counter-Narcotics; and Strategic Communications.
14. Our bilateral relationship with Pakistan
is central to the delivery of our policy. The priority attached
to Pakistan by the UK Government is evident from the number of
high-level visits to the country since the general election in
May 2010: there have been visits from the Deputy Prime Minister
and the Foreign Secretary in September 2010 and June 2010, respectively;
and the International Development Secretary and Baroness Warsi,
Minister without Portfolio at the Cabinet Office, have both visited
twice. The Prime Minister also hosted President Zardari at Chequers
in August 2010 and there have been numerous inward visits by Pakistani
15. One way an effective approach will be expressed
is through a two-way strategic relationship founded on increasing
levels of trust between our two peoples and governments across
an increasing span of business. We believe that this can only
be achieved by deeper, honest dialogue and stronger practical
collaboration. The UK Government has sought to enshrine the breadth
of this relationship in an enhanced UK-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue,
announced by the Prime Minister and President Zardari at their
meeting on 6 August 2010. The Dialogue is thematic and covers:
people-to-people links and public diplomacy; business and trade;
financial, macro-economic and political governance; service delivery;
defence and security; and regional stability.
16. We intend that this enhanced Strategic Dialogue
build and deepen the bilateral ties that our two countries share,
including existing interactions through the Pakistan Education
Task Force; the Defence Co-operation Forum (DCF), the Joint Working
Group on Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Narcotics and Organised Crime
(JWG); the Joint Judicial Co-operation Working Group and the Counter-Proliferation
17. We also work closely with key partners, in
particular the US and EU. Through our influence in multilateral
fora, such as the EU, UN, NATO and the International Financial
Institutions, we have sought to galvanise the international response
to the recent flooding, and to ensure that Pakistan has both immediate
and long-term support from the international community to meet
the enormous humanitarian, reconstruction and development challenge
posed by the disaster. We have sought in particular to encourage
the EU to see its response to the disaster as an opportunity to
show international leadership in responding, with an ambitious
package of support for both immediate and long-term needs. This
includes through immediate tariff reduction on key Pakistani products
and increased trade access in the medium and longer-term. Increased
market access would be worth substantially more than the EU's
current development assistance programme.
18. One of the key mechanisms for monitoring
the progress of UK, international and Afghan efforts in Afghanistan
this year has been the international conferences held in London
in January 2010 followed by Kabul in July 2010. The London Conference
committed the Afghan Government and international community to
achieve specific objectives across a number of areas: security,
governance, and economic development. The Kabul Conference provided
an opportunity to assess the progress made and to lay out further
commitments for the coming months. An indicator of some success
is that of the Afghan Government commitments made at the London
Conference which were due to be completed before the Kabul Conference,
the majority were achieved on time.
19. At the Kabul Conference, NATO and international
partners supported President Karzai's ambition that Afghan National
Security Forces should take responsibility for security in Afghanistan
by the end of 2014. Transition of security will be a phased process,
with the Afghans taking the security lead in selected districts
and provinces as conditions on the ground are met. ISAF are in
the process of drawing up a plan, overseen by General Petraeus,
Commander ISAF and Ambassador Sedwill, the NATO Secretary General's
Senior Civilian Representative. As the Prime Minister announced
in Parliament on 7 July this year, he does not foresee the UK
providing any combat forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014 and the
Transition process will allow this objective to happen.
20. The Afghan Government is now working on follow-up
to the Kabul Conference. Through a "cluster" system
which draws together groups of Ministries, it is finalising the
priority programmes it set out. The UN, backed by donors, is monitoring
progress through the Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board
(JCMB). We are supporting the Afghan Government in delivering
on their commitments and working closely with international partners
in support of the Afghan Government to hold it to account.
21. The Helmand Plan measures progress achieved
by all international partners and the Provincial Afghan Government
across seven themes (outlined at paragraph 13 above). The Plan
enables all partners to prioritise and co-ordinate their activities
and resources to deliver stabilisation. Partners review the Helmand
Plan on a quarterly basis, monitoring the delivery of work and
updating the plan in light of lessons learned.
22. The Government's quarterly oral reports and
monthly updates to Parliament will also help assess progress in
Afghanistan, providing a regular and transparent method of judging
the success of UK policy.
23. All aid given to Government, UN agencies
and civil society by DFID is accounted for according to UK accounting
and audit requirements. The success of projects and programmes
funded by UK development aid to Afghanistan is measured against
the DFID country business plan on a six-monthly basis.
24. Pakistan is not the subject of an international
process endorsed by the Security Council. Unlike Afghanistan,
there are no agreed international outcomes for Pakistan against
which to measure success. We do, however, have a shared understanding
with partners (US, EU, IFIs, and key partners in the Friends of
Democratic Pakistan group and with Pakistan itself) - on what
success looks like: a stable, secure Pakistan playing a constructive
role in the region and co-operating on international security,
development and foreign policy priorities. We are working to refine
and refocus this following the floods. This is complemented by
the UK specific objectives for British engagement with Pakistan
agreed by the National Security Council. We therefore measure
success by reviewing progress against significant milestones en
route to both our objectives and the shared objectives of the
wider international community. A commitment to addressing corruption
is one of the "principles" agreed on signing the 10
year UK-Pakistan Development Partnership Arrangement in 2006.
We track progress regularly with the Pakistan Government.
25. One measure has been the scale of the international
response to the floods. As outlined above, the UK has led the
international response to the flooding, both bilaterally, and
by galvanising others to contribute to the UN appeal and increasing
long-term support to Pakistan. The result has been a marked increase
in funding against the UN appeal. Securing EU agreement to pursue
a step-change in its engagement including through increased trade
concessions has also been an important milestone, as has a new
IMF loan for emergency flood relief, and an offer from NATO to
assist the UN with delivery of humanitarian aid. The EU commitment
on trade and humanitarian relief will be supported by an EU-Pakistan
Engagement Plan, which will support a stronger EU-Pakistan relationship
and provide a framework to measure progress in a number of key
26. Other recent significant milestones over
the period against our broader regional objectives include a bilateral
agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan on a Trade and Transit
agreement. We have also welcomed India and Pakistan's discussion
to resume ministerial level talks.
27. On our bilateral agenda, we measure success
by the strength of the relationship and by the willingness of
Pakistan to pursue closer bilateral ties. The commitment to enhance
and deepen the Dialogue made by the Prime Minister and President
Zardari on 6 August 2010 is significant in this regard. Work is
now underway to build on this with a regular flow of ministerial
visits on both sides, and to take forward work on individual strands
of the Dialogue. On migration, improved co-operation between the
UK and Pakistan has seen an increase in the number of illegal
immigrants returned from the UK to Pakistan year on year. This
close bilateral co-operation includes our joint work on tackling
28. An important area of our work is constant
monitoring and evaluation. There is an increasing commitment to
learning and sharing lessons - across government departments and
between civilian departments and the UK military. Progress over
the last year includes the establishment of a Conflict Lessons
Working Group, which identifies lessons from a number of conflicts,
including Asia and the Balkans, and undertakes a range of activities
to ensure that these lessons are effectively disseminated to appropriate
stakeholders. This Working Group is chaired and supported by the
Stabilisation Unit, and is attended by DFID, FCO and MOD, with
additional representation from the military. There has been a
significant increase in civil-military co-operation around lessons,
an increase in joint de-briefing of officers and officials returning
from the field, and an increase in joint investigations of themes
of further interest.
29. Recent examples of joint lessons work include:
a Joint Civil-Military Doctrine Note on Security Transitions,
Joint Civil-Military investigation of the use of Money for Security
Effect, and Lessons from the Pakistan Post Crisis Needs Assessment
(PCNA). There are currently plans to carry out further investigation
into community engagement, informal justice and dispute resolution
and the factors which enable or impede stability at district level
in Helmand. The Stabilisation Unit is developing its "Top
Ten Lessons on Stabilisation", and is developing both public
and restricted access repositories where lessons and key documents
can be easily accessed.
30. The MOD also conducts independent assessments
of capability. Every six months, the Vice Chief of the Defence
Staff proposes subjects for audit to Chiefs of Staff. Previous
studies conducted on operations include reviews of the UK's contribution
to ISAF and the UK's initial deployment to Helmand.
31. The quarterly reviews of the Helmand Plan
also identify more immediate lessons, which can be applied directly
by the PRT. For example, the PRT recently noted that the unclear
boundaries of Lashkar Gah were making it harder to co-ordinate
the command of Afghan Uniformed Police with local government and
with international mentors. The PRT has therefore worked with
the Mayor of Lashkar Gah and the provincial government to establish
the registered boundaries of the municipality.
32. The security of the UK and its people is
the first duty of Government. On the first day of the new Coalition
Government the Prime Minister established the National Security
Council (NSC) to oversee all aspects of the UK's security. The
NSC provides an effective mechanism to bring together strategic
decisions about foreign affairs, security, defence and development
and to align national objectives in these areas. It does not replace
decision-making in departments but ensures that these decisions
are aligned where appropriate and that they support clear national
objectives. The secretariat which supports the NSC and co-ordinates
its work is based in the Cabinet Office. The government departments
with key security-related functions are all represented on the
NSC. Member departments include: FCO, Treasury, Home Office, MOD,
Department of Energy and Climate Change, DFID, and the Cabinet
33. The discipline of systematic, weekly consideration
of national security priorities in a ministerial forum chaired
by the Prime Minister is already driving a more coherent approach
to strategy across government departments. A series of inter-departmental
committees at official level culminate in a weekly meeting of
NSC departments at Permanent Secretary level, chaired by the National
Security Adviser. This allows strategic priority-setting, a closer
alignment between strategic policy making and the work of the
Joint Intelligence Committee, and agreement on issues which do
not need ministerial attention. Strategy Units across Whitehall
are working more closely on national security issues.
34. The FCO has led the foreign policy agenda
of the NSC which has covered a range of priorities, including
Afghanistan and Pakistan. Under the new National Security Council
structures, Afghanistan is discussed every fortnight and Pakistan
frequently. The fact that, on his first visit to Afghanistan in
May 2010, the Foreign Secretary was joined by the Defence and
International Development Secretaries underlines the joined up
approach of this Government towards Afghanistan.
35. UK representation in Afghanistan is based
in the British Embassy in Kabul (around 300 staff) and the PRT
in Lashkar Gah, Helmand (24
FCO positions plus 30 staffed by the
Stabilisation Unit of which FCO, MOD and DFID are joint parent
departments). FCO staff in Afghanistan (both UK based and locally
engaged) work alongside UK civil servants from a range of government
departments, and contracted specialists working as governance,
rule of law, justice, counter-narcotics, infrastructure and economics
advisers, as well as UK military and US, Danish and Estonian civilian
and military staff. In Islamabad, the High Commission has just
under 500 staff and 85 in Karachi. This also includes representatives
from DFID, MOD and other Whitehall departments.
36. In addition to the normal departmental support
provided by officials to Ministers, there are three cross-governmental
Cabinet Office-chaired committees which meet weekly at Head of
Department or Director level on Afghanistan and Pakistan in order
to clearly co-ordinate work between departments. The Groups have
oversight of the delivery against objectives and the prioritisation
of efforts and co-ordinate the formulation of policy advice to
Ministers. They comprise officials from the Cabinet Office, FCO,
MOD, DFID, Stabilisation Unit, and the Home Office. The cross-governmental
Afghanistan Communications Team, the British Embassy in Kabul,
the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Lashkar Gah, other UK Embassies
and delegations attend meetings as necessary.
37. There are a number of cross-governmental
teams working on Afghanistan in Whitehall: the Afghanistan Drugs
and Justice Unit (FCO, DFID, HMRC, SOCA and MOD), the Afghanistan
Communications Team (FCO, MOD and DFID) and the Foreign and Defence
Policy Secretariat in the Cabinet Office (FCO, MOD and DFID).
Cross-governmental Sub-Groups have also been formed looking at
countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Taliban financing
and counter-Taliban messaging.
38. Three hundred and thirty nine UK troops have
lost their lives in Afghanistan (as of 5 October 2010). We commend
their courage, dedication and professionalism.
39. In 2001, a US-led coalition (Operation Enduring
Freedom) deployed to Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks
on 11 September 2001. After the Taliban were removed from power,
the United Nations Security Council passed a Chapter VII Resolution
authorising the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
to help the new Afghan Government maintain security in the country.
This mandate, UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1386 of 20
December 2001, is renewed annually, most recently with UNSCR 1890
on 8 October 2009. In August 2003, NATO assumed command of ISAF
and its mandate was incrementally expanded to allow it to assist
in the maintenance of security beyond Kabul.
40. The size of both the ISAF and Afghan forces
has grown steadily since 2001. ISAF now has approximately 120,000
personnel, the ANA 136,000 and the Afghan National Police (ANP)
115,000. There are large portions of the country that see relatively
few security incidents. However, the insurgency still poses a
serious challenge in a number of areas, most significantly the
South and East, where it is able to derive income from the narcotics
trade and take advantage of porous borders with Pakistan.
41. The insurgency consists of several groups,
without a single command structure or strategy. In the South,
the main element of the insurgency is the Taliban, whose traditional
power base is Kandahar. In the East, the insurgency is more fragmented
and consists of several groupings, including the Taliban, the
Haqqani Network and Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HiG), supported by
a small number of foreign fighters. Throughout the country, there
are strong connections and overlap between the insurgency and
other criminal activities, such as the narcotics trade.
42. Over time, the nature of insurgency attacks
has evolved from mainly conventional assaults to a greater reliance
on IEDs. The vast majority of those killed or injured in these
attacks are Afghan civilians. A recent UN report on civilian casualties
found that over 70% are caused by the insurgents. The insurgents
have also shown a greater willingness to attack humanitarian and
development projects, and non-government organisation (NGO) workers.
Former Commander ISAF General McChrystal proposed a new counter-insurgency
strategy for Afghanistan that was endorsed in December 2009. It
included a surge of 30,000 US troops and approximately 9,000 troops
from other ISAF contributing countries. The US troop surge is
now complete and ISAF have just under 118,000 troops in theatre
(and there are a further 26,000 US troops in Afghanistan under
43. This surge has enabled ISAF to consolidate
gains it made in rolling back Taliban influence in Helmand and
Kandahar provinces and to continue to gradually expand the area
under Afghan Government control. ISAF's main effort in the South,
Operation Moshtarak, began in November 2009 with an effort to
improve freedom of movement along the main transport routes around
Kandahar city. In February 2010, the focus of operations switched
to central Helmand where Operation Moshtarak phase two began to
clear the insurgency out of Nad Ali district, including the Taliban-controlled
area of Marjah, and establish Afghan local governance and socio-economic
development. While operations in central Helmand continue, ISAF's
main effort has now shifted back to Kandahar where a civilian-military
effort is now focused on improving Afghan governance and reducing
Taliban influence in Kandahar city and the surrounding areas.
The US will review the success of their uplift in troops and their
current strategy in December 2010, with a view to begin drawing
down surge troops by July 2011.
Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)
44. The UK Government fully supports President
Karzai's ambition to have ANSF assume lead responsibility for
security across the country by 2014. Achieving this depends on
making the necessary progress in building ANSF capabilities that
will pave the way for security transition. Transition will be
a phased process, with the Afghan Security Forces taking the lead
initially in selected districts and provinces as appropriate conditions
on the ground are met. Since Transition is conditions based, timelines
cannot be made and it is important that Transition planning does
not interfere with the primary task of providing security to the
Afghan people. On 2 September, the North Atlantic Council received
the first of ISAF's monthly transition assessment updates. The
NATO Summit in Lisbon in November and US Afghanistan Strategy
Review, expected in December, will also set the pace for the Transition
process. The Afghan Government and ISAF are giving Transition
a high priority, ensuring that the process receives the support
and resources it needs.
Afghan National Army
45. The ANA has already reached its 2010 growth
objective of 134,000, well ahead of schedule and is on-track to
achieve the 2011 goal of 171,600. All UK ground-holding troops
are available to support ANA development through partnering. UK
and ANA ground-holding troops live and operate together throughout
the UK areas of operation. Alongside partnering there are small
teams, made up of 206 personnel for the ANA and 75 personnel for
the ANP, which provide coherence to partnering by offering liaison,
advice and continuity of relationships with security force units.
46. ANA training is conducted by the NATO Training
Mission - Afghanistan (NTM-A). The NTM-A's mandate is to generate
and build the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces.
It currently has around 1,300 international trainers, but is set
to expand to over 2,500 trainers by March 2012. The UK provides,
or is in the process of force generating, 160 military personnel
and three civilian secondees to NTM-A headquarters and its institutions.
The UK leads the Combat Arms Directorate, as the principle nation
supplying the Infantry Branch School. We also provide personnel
to the Afghan Defence University, the Officer Cadet School, the
Counter Insurgency Academy, and the Non-Commissioned Officer Training
47. The UK also supports the building of capacity
within the security sector at the Ministry level, through training
and with in-theatre partnering and mentoring. The FCO and MOD
fund and provide two British civilians who work within the Afghan
Ministry of Defence to enhance its capacity. One is an advisor
and the second is a Private Secretary to the Minister of Defence.
Afghan National Police (ANP)
48. Afghan police development since 2006 has
focused largely on countering the insurgency. In practice, the
role of the ANP has been to undertake guard duties and man checkpoints
during the "hold" phase of counter-insurgency operations.
Going forward there is a need to improve the connection between
the police and citizens, ensuring that they are able to respond
to the most pressing needs and concerns of the majority of Afghan
people, law enforcement and ensuring public safety.
49. The Ministry of the Interior (MoI) has a
dual function: as the national police HQ, and the policy and management
institution for the ANP. The MoI continues to play an active role
in tactical operational matters. However, its institutional capacity
to direct and manage the ANP, and to hold them to account, remains
weak. The international community is providing assistance to the
MoI and DFID is currently discussing ways of helping them to address
these institutional issues over the longer-term, in line with
other international assistance to the MoI.
50. The NTM-A plays the lead role in police force
generation and the large majority of NTM-A effort is driven by
the objective of increasing the quantity of ANP personnel. The
UK provides three police officers to NTM-A who provide strategic
level advice on all aspects of civilian policing, including the
implementation of the Focused District Development (FDD) programme
and the development of police training curricula. As of September
2010, the total size of the ANP is just over 115,000 officers.
At the London Conference in January 2010, the Afghan Government
and international community agreed a target of 134,000 ANP personnel
by October 2011.
51. The US provide by far the most support to
police development, channelling the majority of their effort through
the NTM-A, to which they provide $2 billion a month (for both
ANA and ANP development), hundreds of military trainers and strategic
leadership through NTM-A Commander Lt Gen Caldwell. Alongside
the US, other significant contributors to NTM-A include Germany,
Italy and France.
52. EUPOL, the EU's police training mission,
provides strategic advice and mentoring for senior officials in
the Ministry of the Interior and ANP, as well as providing training
in specialised areas such as criminal investigation and forensics.
EUPOL also works to strengthen wider rule of law institutions
such as the Attorney General's Office. As of September 2010, there
are 258 policing and rule of law experts from 25 different countries
in EUPOL, and the mission is delivering training and mentoring
in 12 Provinces. The EUPOL and NATO Police Missions are increasingly
working together on a range of projects, including supporting
the reform of the Ministry of Interior, strengthening the police
and security forces in Kabul and developing mechanisms for police
engagement with their local communities. UK personnel in the two
missions are playing a key role here.
53. The UK remains a significant contributor
to the EUPOL police reform mission, with 13 serving or retired
officers currently deployed in Kabul and Helmand. These officers
perform a wide range of duties including advising the Deputy Minister
of the Interior on police reform, leading the development of a
Police Staff College, heading all of the ANP's anti-corruption
work and mentoring the Head of the Counter-Terrorism police. In
Helmand they are helping the Provincial Chief of Police develop
a provincial policing plan and are building the criminal investigation
department capabilities at the provincial headquarters.
54. In Helmand the UK has developed a comprehensive
approach to supporting police development, utilising resources
drawn from EUPOL, the MOD, police and the military. This has allowed
influence to be exerted at the strategic, operational and tactical
levels of policing (provincial, districts and local communities).
Direct training to patrolmen and NCOs is delivered at the Helmand
Police Training Centre in Lashkar Gah, where over 1000 patrolmen
and 25 NCOs have graduated since it opened in December 2009. The
UK military mentors ANP across the province and UK civilian police
provide strategic advice and mentoring to senior police leadership
in District Police headquarters. Through EUPOL, the UK is also
building Criminal Investigation capability across the province.
55. The UK has played a major role in the establishment
of the Counter-Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) which is
the lead drug law enforcement agency of the Afghan Government
with a presence in all 34 provinces. The UK has provided equipment,
training and mentoring at the provincial level to the CNPA to
improve its abilities to interdict narcotics smugglers. In Helmand,
largely thanks to this support, the CNPA recorded more seizures
of drugs and precursor chemicals (over 150 kilograms of heroin
and 14 tonnes of chemicals) in the first three months of this
financial year than in the whole of the previous twelve months.
56. Whilst the ANP continue to suffer from serious
problems such as corruption, low levels of education, lack of
training, and heavy casualties as a result of fighting the insurgency,
progress is being made. In March 2010, the Ministry of Interior
published a five-year National Police Strategy and a National
Police Plan which were subsequently endorsed by the international
community. These provide, for the first time, clear Afghan direction
for the development of the ANP, setting challenging long-term
goals as well as initial plans for how to achieve them. The Afghan
Government reaffirmed its commitment to implementing the Afghan
National Police Strategy at the Kabul Conference in July 2010,
and in addition committed to supporting institutional development
in the Ministry of Interior and strengthening of ANP leadership.
Good progress is being made towards the agreed ANP strength of
134,000 by October 2011, and at July 2010 almost 1,000 Afghan
trainers were EUPOL 'Train The Trainer' certified.
57. Despite this, there is still more to do.
Huge challenges remain in building the capacity and capability
of the ANP. Strong leadership from within the Ministry of Interior
is essential to tackle embedded problems of corruption within
the Ministry itself, the police and other parts of the criminal
justice system, as well as in providing a clear vision of the
reforms required to build a national police force. There will
be an ongoing requirement for continued strategic and technical
(and funding) support from the UK for the ANP. This forms part
of the international community's wider effort to develop a capable,
legitimate and sustainable police force which is able to respond
to the security needs of citizens, by protecting, preventing and
investigating all forms of criminal activity.
58. The international community's effort needs
to balance the requirement to build the ANP's security capability
with the longer-term reform objectives. The short to medium-term
aim is to enable the Afghan Government to lead and support the
ANP to provide basic security and policing functions, and in the
longer-term to link into sub-national government mechanisms. Overall,
the challenge is to build a fully functioning, accountable police
force that operates without international support.
59. The ISAF mission consists of 47 nations (the
troop numbers are based on broad contribution and do not reflect
the exact numbers on the ground at any one time). A table giving
the complete list is at Annex 1.
60. ISAF was initially mandated to deploy in
Kabul city and was initially a coalition of the willing, under
a rotating national command, until NATO formally took command
of ISAF from January 2003. In October 2003, the UN Security Council
authorised the expansion of ISAF in UNSCR 1510. Under this plan
expansion throughout the country took place in four stages beginning
in the North (in 2003) and finishing in the East (in 2006).
61. Building the capacity of Afghan National
Security Forces is essential to improving security across Afghanistan
and both ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom are heavily involved
in this process. The Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan,
under Operation Enduring Freedom control, leads on the training
of the ANA, and also runs a number of large police training programmes,
while ISAF also commands a number of Operational Mentoring and
Liaison Teams (OMLTs) embedded within an Afghan military unit.
The OMLTs provide training and mentoring in support of operational
deployments for units from the ANA, also providing a liaison capability
between the army and ISAF forces. The OMLTs co-ordinate planning
and ensure the army units receive enabling support, including
on active missions.
62. ISAF will continue to be the main focus for
the international community's support for security in Afghanistan.
At the NATO Tallinn Summit in 2009, Heads of State reaffirmed
their commitment to ISAF and its mission, setting out the four
principles guiding ISAF's actions: a firm and shared long-term
commitment; support for enhanced Afghan leadership and responsibility;
a comprehensive approach by the international community, bringing
together civilian and military efforts; and increased co-operation
and engagement with Afghanistan's neighbours, especially Pakistan.
63. When the UN first authorised the deployment
of an international force, following the Bonn Conference in December
2001, there were 19 troop contributing nations, led by the UK.
There are now, as at August 2010, 47 countries contributing almost
120,000 troops. 94,000 of those troops are located in the less
stable Regional Commands South, South West and East. The UK is
the second largest troop contributing nation, with 9,500 troops.
64. The UK recognises the need for greater burden
sharing by all partners and allies, shifting our emphasis from
short-term stabilisation to long-term development. To that end,
the UK diplomatic effort has been deployed in encouraging others
to increase their share of the military, civilian and financial
burden in Afghanistan. A cross-Whitehall burden sharing strategy
continues to identify partners who can and should provide more
resources (including combat troops) for Afghanistan. Our focus
is increasingly on the provision of military and police trainers
and on filling gaps in the NATO training mission.
65. NATO, through the Combined Joint Statement
of Requirements identifies the troops and material required to
conduct the mission. This was updated prior to a Global Force
Generation Conference on 22-23 September 2010. Amongst others,
there are currently shortfalls in the required numbers of trainers
for the NTM-A. The UK provides seven of the OMLTs required by
the Statement of Requirements and has lobbied allies to provide
additional OMLTs to meet the existing shortfall. There are now
22 countries that either contribute to or have pledged to contribute
to OMLTs. However, as the ANA expands and as the ANA starts to
take the security lead, there will be an increasing requirement
UK Military Contribution
66. The UK currently contributes 9,500 troops
to ISAF on an enduring basis. The majority (approximately 80%)
of these are based in Helmand, with the British commander of the
UK-led Task Force Helmand located alongside the Helmand Provincial
Reconstruction Team in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah. The
UK also has 1,300 troops located at Kandahar Air Field and 500
in Kabul. In addition, we hold several key command positions,
including Deputy Commander ISAF (on a permanent basis) and Commander
Regional Command South (on a rotational basis until November 2010).
67. On 26 January 2006, the UK announced the
first deployment of troops to Helmand and in May 2006 we took
over the lead for the Helmand PRT from the US. The UK troop presence
in Helmand has grown from an initial deployment of 3,150 to approximately
7,700 troops. Until spring 2008, the UK-led Task Force Helmand
(TFH) held lead security responsibility across the whole province.
However, from April 2008, the arrival of increasing numbers of
US troops in Helmand has enabled security responsibilities to
be shared between TFH and US Marine Air Ground Taskforce (MAGTF).
The MAGTF has taken over security responsibility for the north,
east and south of Helmand, including Kajaki, Musa Qala, Sangin
and Garmsir. This has allowed TFH to focus on the central area
of Helmand, including the largest population centres in Lashkar
Gah and Gereshk.
68. The PRT, headquartered in Lashkar Gah, has
some 260 staff, approximately half of whom are civilian. It has
some 21 civilian police staff and 30 Afghan staff. It also has
UK, US and Danish District Stabilisation Teams in 10 of Helmand's
14 Districts. A Stabilisation Team typically consists of civilian
stabilisation advisers (STABADs), civilian specialists (e.g. in
agriculture), a political adviser and either a UK Military Stabilisation
Support Team (MSST), a US Civil Affairs Team, or a Danish CIMIC
(Civil Military Co-operation) Support Team. The teams bring together
people with a range of backgrounds including development, politics,
engineering and project management. The Stabilisation Teams work
hand in hand with the District Regimental, Battle Group or Battalion
HQs to co-ordinate civil and military activity. DFID staff, who
manage the UK's bilateral, long-term development programme in
Helmand, are co-located with the PRT in Lashkar Gah.
69. Since July 2006, UK forces have been detaining
suspected insurgents in Afghanistan in fulfilment of the ISAF
mandate. If not released, these detainees are transferred to the
relevant Afghan authorities for investigation and prosecution
under Afghan criminal law: usually the National Directorate for
Security (NDS) in Lashkar Gah and Kandahar (the most appropriate
Afghan Authority). ISAF guidelines state that such transfer should
be completed within 96 hours of capture wherever possible.
70. In late 2009, the UK announced that in exceptional
circumstances and with ministerial approval, such detention could
be extended beyond 96 hours for the purposes of intelligence exploitation.
71. Written arrangements governing conditions
of detention combined with monitoring detainees once in Afghan
custody, together with well-established contacts with Afghan representatives,
are key elements of the UK's strategy for mitigating the risk
of mistreatment. The robustness of these arrangements has been
increased through the establishment of the Detention Oversight
Team (DOT), headed by Force Provost Marshall and comprising a
Royal Military Police officer and a legal adviser, whose role
is to liaise with Afghan authorities to ensure regular and private
access to post-transfer UK-captured detainees, who are also visited
by the ICRC. Officials from the British Embassy accompany the
DOT to visit detainees in Kabul.
72. The UK policy to transfer detainees to Afghan
custody withstood judicial scrutiny by way of judicial review.
In June 2010 the Divisional Court found that UK transfers can
continue to NDS Kandahar and NDS Lashkar Gah without a real risk
of torture or serious mistreatment provided that existing safeguards
are strengthened by observance of certain conditions relating
to monitoring and access. These safeguards are in place.
73. As of 1 October 2010, the UK has detained
1,399 individuals, of which over 480 have been transferred to
the Afghan authorities.
74. The Bonn Agreement of 2001 laid out the political
road map for Afghanistan, which led to the Emergency Loya Jirga
(traditional Afghan Grand Council) in June 2002. The UN Assistance
Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established shortly after to
assist in the implementation of the Bonn Agreement.
75. After an interim Berlin Conference in April
2004, the Afghan Compact was drawn up at the London Conference
in February 2006. This sought to define the principles of co-operation
between the Afghan Government and the international community
for the period 2006-11. Donors pledged a further $10.5 billion
in aid. The Paris Conference in June 2008 launched the Afghan
National Development Strategy, which recognised the leadership
of the Afghan Government in setting development priorities during
2008-13, whilst securing pledges of $21 billion.
76. The texts of the Communiqués for both
the London and Kabul Conferences are available at
77. While our troops will be out of combat by
2015, this will not mean the end of our engagement in Afghanistan.
Rather we expect to see over the next five years a gradual shift
from international military intervention to greater international
civilian support, including economic support, as Afghanistan stabilises
further and moves closer to international norms. We expect to
continue our security co-operation eg through training and support
to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). This will be a
complex and lengthy process given what Afghanistan has suffered
from conflict and poverty over the last 30 years.
78. As part of any sustainable political settlement,
there should be a peace process that seeks to address the concerns
of the insurgency and its support base.
79. President Karzai made clear his commitment
to delivering peace and reconciliation during his inaugural address
in November 2009 when he said "It is a recognised fact that
security and peace cannot be achieved through fighting and violence.
This is why the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has placed national
reconciliation at the top of its peace-building policy".
This was reinforced at the London Conference in January 2010 when
the Afghan Government committed to take this forward and to "offer
an honourable place in society to those willing to renounce violence,
participate in the free and open society and respect the principles
that are enshrined in the Afghan constitution, cut ties with al-Qaeda
and other terrorist groups, and pursue their political goals peacefully".
Karzai also announced his intention to hold a Peace Jirga to take
this policy forward. The international community also demonstrated
strong commitment to the policy. Over £100 million was pledged
from nations including Japan, Germany, Australia, Spain and Greece.
The Republic of Korea has since also pledged to contribute funds.
The UK pledged to contribute £5 million in 2010-11.
80. The Afghan Government held the Consultative
Peace Jirga (CPJ) on 2-4 June 2010 in order to secure the support
of the Afghan people for peace and reconciliation. The CPJ brought
together 1,600 representatives from across Afghanistan, drawn
from the Government, Parliament, civil society and women's groups.
Participants drew up a declaration, which gave the Afghan Government
a mandate to take work on reintegration and reconciliation forward,
calling on the insurgents to put an end to the fighting and begin
a process of negotiation. It also called for the creation of a
High Peace Council to help deliver this. The membership of the
Council was announced on 29 September 2010 and currently comprises
68 members, including members of the Government and opposition,
women and former Taliban. We now look forward to the appointment
of the Council's chairman to allow this work to progress.
81. At the Kabul Conference, the Afghan Government
published the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP).
The international community endorsed the principles of the APRP
and reiterated their commitment to support the peace process.
82. Afghanistan's neighbours will have an important
role to play in ensuring the success of any reconciliation policy.
At the London Conference, President Karzai asked all of Afghanistan's
neighbours, particularly Pakistan, to support the peace and reconciliation
endeavours. The UK continues to encourage Afghanistan's neighbours
and influential international actors, like Saudi Arabia, to play
a constructive role. We are in close contact with the Afghan Government
and our international partners as this develops (further detail
on regional policy is set out in paragraphs 158-166).
Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme
83. The Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme
(APRP) will be divided into three stages:
- Social Outreach, Confidence-Building, and
Negotiation: Provincial and district leaders
will conduct outreach to individuals and their communities that
demonstrate their intent to join the peace process and will facilitate
confidence-building activities, negotiations and grievance resolution
among the Government, communities, victims and ex-combatants as
- Demobilisation: Those
who join the peace process will be demobilised through a social
and political process that will begin with an initial assessment,
vetting and weapons management and registration. Immediate humanitarian
assistance may be provided, if necessary.
- Consolidation of Peace:
Following the political and security processes of the first two
stages, a standard needs assessment tailored to the requirements
of the APRP will be used to assist communities, districts and
provinces to select from a "menu of conflict recovery options".
Not all options will be available to every community due to the
challenge of access, capacity and security, and the diverse needs
of different communities.
84. The menu of options available to participants
in the programme includes but is not limited to: improving access
to basic services, civic education, literacy, technical and vocational
education/training, and the provision and development of employment
85. The provinces that the programme will target
initially are Helmand, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Khost, Baghlan, Badghis,
Kunduz, and Herat. However, the programme is flexible and will
respond to emerging opportunities in any province depending on
the availability of resources and capacity.
Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
86. Given that Afghanistan has emerged only recently
from a generation of conflict, the fact that four sets of nationwide
elections have been held is a significant achievement. Afghanistan's
first Presidential elections were held on 9 October 2004. Around
8.5 million voted. Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections
were held on 18 September 2005. Around 6.8 million Afghans (51.5%
of those eligible) voted.
87. The second Presidential and Provincial Council
elections were held concurrently on 20 August 2009. They were
the first elections in over 30 years to have been run by Afghans,
with international support. The Presidential elections were contested
by 41 candidates. The legitimacy of these elections was undermined
by widespread, systemic fraud. After the removal of (millions
of) fraudulent ballots by the Afghan Independent Election Commission
(IEC), no candidate had received over 50% of the vote and a second
round run-off ballot between the top two candidates (the incumbent
Hamid Karzai and Former Foreign Minister Dr Abdullah Abdullah)
was scheduled. Before the run-off was held, second placed candidate
Dr Abdullah withdrew citing widespread fraud. Hamid Karzai was
inaugurated for a second five-year term on 19 November 2009.
88. At the same time Provincial Council elections
took place in each of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. 420 Provincial
Council seats across the country were contested by 3,180 candidates.
Over 4.6 million votes were cast in these elections. This drop
in turnout was expected, as the first elections of a new democracy
generally have a higher turnout than subsequent ones.
89. In 2010 the first Afghan-run Parliamentary
elections since the 1960s were held on 18 September. The Afghan
authorities ran these elections in difficult circumstances, successfully
overcoming major security and logistical difficulties. Over 2,500
candidates stood for election and turnout is estimated to have
been around four million. It is widely agreed that these elections
were better run than in 2009. The Independent Election Commission
(IEC) worked hard on their preparations and learnt many of the
lessons from 2009. They put in place a number of anti-fraud measures
which look likely to have prevented the systemic fraud witnessed
in 2009. There is nevertheless widespread reporting of fraud and
malpractice. But the tally process is ongoing and if the IEC resists
the inevitable political pressure from candidates and power brokers,
these elections will have been more credible than those in 2009.
The Electoral Complaints Commission will also play an important
part ensuring the legitimacy of the election over the next few
weeks and will need to be seen to take all complaints seriously.
We expect the IEC to announce provisional results on 9 October
and final results on 30 October.
90. The UK and the international community supported
the 2009-10 Afghan-led elections. Financial support was primarily
channelled through the UN Development Programme's Enhancing Legal
and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow programme (UNDP ELECT), the
multi-year funding mechanism to which 24 donors contribute. In
2009-10 the UK provided $26 million to ELECT. In comparison, the
US committed $120 million, Japan $36 million, Germany $22 million
and Canada $12.9 million. Alongside other donors the UK allocated
a further $2.5 million to the 2010 election budget from within
the existing 2010-11 Aid Framework.
91. In Helmand, voter turnout was down on last
year's vote (which was artificially inflated by fraudulent ballots)
but the elections were largely deemed successful: 120 polling
centres of 129 were able to open (compared with 107 last year)
and the logistic and administrative process worked well on the
day. Only one polling station was forced to close for security
reasons. No voters or elections workers were killed or injured
during the vote and there were no significant security incidents.
The insurgents' inability to disrupt voting allowed the provincial
authorities the space to focus on incidents of fraud, making multiple
arrests across the province. The most obvious cases of ballot-stuffing
have been identified and recorded by the provincial election authorities.
The challenge will be to ensure that these irregularities are
acknowledged and adjusted for at the national level.
92. The UK has supported the deployment of international
election observers for the elections in 2009 and 2010. In 2009
Election Observation Missions from the EU and the OSCE monitored
the elections. In 2010 both organisations deployed smaller teams,
mainly for security reasons, with the aim of producing recommendations
on longer-term electoral reform. British Embassy staff also participated
in diplomatic election observation, co-ordinating with other embassies
93. Following 30 years of civil war, Afghanistan
is extremely poor and ranks 181st out of 182 countries on the
Human Development index. Although there has been some progress
since 2001, Afghanistan is still at the early stages of its economic
development and progress to a fully functioning economy is only
achievable over the long-term. There are many challenges, including
weak infrastructure, low human capacity and corruption. Nevertheless,
significant achievements continue to be made:
- Economic growth rose to 22.5% in 2009-10 on the
back of a strong harvest. Industrial and service sector gross
domestic product (GDP) have doubled since 2005. Afghan business
revenue grew on average 220% between 2005 and 2008.
- Domestic revenue generation has exceeded 20%
growth year-on-year since 2002. Tax revenue reached $1.2 billion
in 2009-10, up from almost nothing in 2002, through improvements
in the Afghan Government's tax system and collection rates, such
as by opening provincial tax offices, and reducing opportunities
- The Afghan Government has embarked on a range
of important economic policy and governance reforms. The Ministries
of Mines and of Commerce and Industry are undergoing significant
structural and capacity changes to facilitate investment and growth
and create a better policy and regulatory environment for private
- Policy and regulatory efforts to improve the
investment climate have resulted in Afghanistan's rise by eight
places (from 168 to 160 out of 183) in the World Bank's Doing
Business rankings in 2010, a rise principally attributable to
new laws allowing firms to access credit.
- Negotiations on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit
Trade Agreement (APTTA) have been concluded and a two-month road
map towards ratification signed. A fully ratified APTTA will pave
the way for better-regulated, more open trade routes, and is expected
to give a major boost to Afghan exports.
- The financial sector has seen significant improvements,
with 17 banks now operating in Afghanistan and the Central Bank
playing a strengthened role in oversight and supervision. Nevertheless,
the case of Kabul Bank, which recently went into administration
following revelations that shareholders had corruptly obtained
loans, shows that banking regulatory systems remain weak and need
to be rigorously addressed.
- On a smaller scale, improved access to microfinance
has been a successful tool in Afghanistan with microfinance institutions
issuing over £460 million worth of small loans to over 800,000
94. Economic development will continue to be
a key priority of the Afghan Government for the years to come,
President Karzai reiterated its importance at the 20 July Kabul
Conference, and it is reflected in the UK's development programme
95. The UK is working with the Afghan Government
to improve economic policies, regulations and services, to strengthen
institutional capacity to formulate and implement them; to increase
accountability, encourage financial management reforms in the
public sector, and to build institutions with the ability to tackle
corruption over the longer-term. The UK also works with the Afghan
private sector, facilitating market development, access to key
inputs such as finance and skilled labour, and by investing in
the private sector to come up with innovative solutions to Afghanistan's
investment climate and development concerns.
96. In alignment with the Afghan Government's
economic development priorities, the UK supports the following
- Support to the Ministry of Finance to continue
the reform and development of an effective, modern and broad-based
tax system (£11 million, 2007-11); and to lead implementation
of Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms in key Afghan line
ministries and at the provincial level; to improve co-ordination
of external funding through the National Budget; and to build
greater levels of PFM capacity in key line ministries (£7
million, 2007-10). The percentage of the Government operating
budget (excluding security) covered by domestic revenue should
rise from 58% in 2010 to 100% in 2015 and expected improvements
in Public Financial Management include a 10% year on year improvement
in budget execution.
- Supporting Employment and Enterprise Development
(SEED) (£36 million, 2008-13): SEED is expected to create
20,000 new permanent jobs by 2013, and to increase the monthly
income of at least 200,000 men and women by 10% by strengthening
the private sector's ability to invest and compete. It will improve
the local business environment, improving access to finance (including
for SMEs), supporting skills development and innovative business
models with pro-poor benefits.
- Harakat - the Afghanistan Investment Climate
Facility (£30 million, 2008-13): This is an independent Afghan-led
non-governmental organisation, supported by DFID and overseen
by a private sector board, which gives grants to the Government,
civil society and private sector organisations for projects to
remove institutional and regulatory barriers to doing business
in Afghanistan. Harakat will contribute to Afghanistan increasing
its growth rate from 7% to 9% per annum, and increasing its overall
ranking on the World Bank's ease of Doing Business index from
160 to 140.
- Support to the Comprehensive Agriculture and
Rural Development Facility (CARD-F, £30 million, 2009-13),
undertaking district-based integrated rural development that provides
stronger incentives to sustain the move away from opium production
implemented in provinces where poppy production has fallen.
- The Helmand Growth Programme (£28 million,
2010-13) will increase the capability of businesses and producers
in selected districts of Helmand to generate economic growth,
by developing an Agriculture Business Park in the provincial capital.
It is expected that 50,000 people will directly benefit from the
programme from skills development, business support or access
to markets through improved infrastructure.
- A programme of infrastructure investment in Helmand
province, through support for Helmand roads (£16 million,
2009-13), hydro-electric power (£14 million, 2009-13), irrigation
(£3 million, 2009-13) and air transport (£7 million,
2009-10). Investments include constructing the road between Lashkar
Gah and Gereshk, and the Bost airfield.
97. New UK interventions to be established by
early 2011 include:
- The UK's new Afghanistan Business Innovation
Fund (ABIF) (£6 million, 2011-13): as part of SEED, ABIF
will provide matching grants to the private sector to catalyse
innovative, commercially viable and pro-poor business models that
improve access to markets for the poor and contribute to income
and employment generation. ABIF is expected to create 5,000 new
jobs and leverage up to £9 million in pro-poor investment
- Technical and Vocational Education and Training
support (TVET) (£36 million, 2011-14): A comprehensive UK
TVET programme, aligned to the Afghan Government's TVET priority
programme under the Human Resource Development Cluster, aims to
help increase the number of TVET graduates and resulting jobs,
thereby contributing to the Government's target of 300,000 trainees
- Increasing Agricultural Potential in Afghanistan
(£18 million, 2010-14), supporting change management in the
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and generating
evidenced-based policy making and planning, as well as specific
interventions to support the needs of herders and farmers. This
programme will support outcomes such as the increase by 5% per
year of the licit agricultural economy in Afghanistan.
- The UK provides substantial funding (£175
million, 2010-14) to the Afghan Government via the World Bank-managed
multi-donor Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). This
contributes to the salaries of civil servants, teachers, doctors
and nurses, and to national priority programmes funded via the
ARTF, in education, health, community investment and development,
infrastructure, and governance (see paragraph 131 for the safeguards
to our funding). The ARTF has already helped the Afghan Government
to increase enrolment in primary and secondary education from
less than 1 million in 2001 to 6.7 million in 2010 and to extend
micro-credit and saving facilities to over 625,000 Afghans, 60%
of whom are women and support will continue to pay for. Continued
support will help to increase the number of schools in Afghanistan
from just under 11,000 to 16,500, and to increase youth literacy
rates from 39% to 50%.
98. Note that the results listed above are those
we expect to see from Afghan or multilateral programmes that benefit
from DFID support. It is inevitable that as the programmes unfold
actual results will differ.
Millennium Development Goals
99. The availability of reliable data to track
the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) progress for
Afghanistan is constrained but is improving. Afghanistan starts
from a very low base - 36% of people live on less than $0.9 per
day, which is the official poverty line in Afghanistan. Following
thirty years of civil war, all of the MDGs are off track, and
the UN has agreed an exceptional extension until 2015. There has
been some progress, for example achieving universal education
(MDG2) and gender equality (MDG3), with 5.3 million children now
attending school regularly, 37% of which are girls, and 25% of
parliament seats reserved for women.
100. The Afghan National Development Strategy
(ANDS) estimated that a projected $50.3 billion will be required
to address Afghanistan's reconstruction and development needs
in the period to 2012-13. The Kabul Conference was using a budget
of $10 billion over three years of donor funding for development
initiatives in order to prioritise programmes. The UK is the second
largest bilateral contributor to the portion of the Afghanistan
Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) - an internationally managed
fund created in 2002 to support the Afghan Government's running
costs and investment needs - which covers the Afghan Government's
recurrent spending and supports a number of national priority
programmes such as the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) that
supports small-scale infrastructure in around 23,000 communities.
The UK has pledged to deliver at least 50% of our total aid to
Afghanistan through government channels, ensuring it has the maximum
opportunity to ensure Afghan ownership of the prioritisation process;
and to enhance the co-ordination of donor funding.
101. In 2001 there were virtually no statutory
rule of law institutions or processes in Afghanistan. The Afghan
Government has made significant progress in developing rule of
law institutions since then. The Afghan Government made important
commitments to strengthen the rule of law at the London Conference,
including increasing numbers of ANP, improving access to justice
and strengthening the role of civil society. The London Communiqué
recognised the Afghan Government's increasing efforts to implement
the Afghan National Justice Programme with a view to making the
provision of justice more transparent, fair, and accessible provision
of justice available to all Afghans equally.
102. At the Kabul Conference, the Afghan Government
acknowledged that the rule of law, good governance and human rights
form the foundation of the strategy to achieve a stable and prosperous
Afghanistan and made further commitments to improve delivery of
justice throughout Afghanistan and build a strong, professional
police force. The UK is working with the Afghan Government as
they translate these commitments into concrete action.
103. The UK continues to support the justice
sector in Afghanistan. At the national level we are helping to
build the capacity of the Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF),
a multi-departmental Afghan detention, investigation, prosecution
and judicial team to target the narcotics trade, taking cases
from investigation right through to conviction. The UK provides
specialist lawyer mentors and administrative support to the task
force. In 2009 the CJTF Primary Court convicted 440 people accused
of drugs related offences. The Appeal Court convicted 599 defendants
on different serious narcotics crimes, and the CJTF General Prosecution
Directorate sent 362 narcotics cases to the Supreme Court of Afghanistan
resulting in the conviction and life imprisonment of 435 drug
traffickers. These convictions included a number of heads of Afghanistan's
largest drug trafficking rings. In Helmand, in addition to support
for the CNPA, the PRT is helping to develop the investigative
capacity of the NDS, and the prosecutorial capacity of the relevant
specialist police agencies, to help the Government to address
insurgency and other serious crimes.
104. Progress has been made in reforming the
Afghan prisons system, and the UK is supporting the Afghan Government
in this work. Our team from the National Offender Management Service
promote a fair and robust Afghan prison sector by sharing UK best
practice through training and mentoring, for example providing
training at Pol-i-Charki for High Security Staff tailored for those
working in a high security environment and with high risk prisoners.
105. Progress has also been made in developing
Afghanistan's prison infrastructure, with improvements to the
Pol-i-Charki prison near Kabul. We are also working closely with
the US who run a wider programme of prison building across Afghanistan.
In addition, the UK is building, equipping and providing training
for Lashkar Gah prison which will conform to international standards.
We also run projects for women and juveniles in prison and have
plans to implement a vocational training programme.
106. We estimate that over 90% of justice in
Afghanistan is delivered through the community-based system and
it is vital for the international community to engage more actively
here, especially in developing linkages with the statutory system.
We are working with the Afghan Government to support their Kabul
Conference commitment to complete an Afghan informal justice strategy
aligned to the National Justice Sector Strategy. Here we can build
on our work in Helmand, where we are working with both the statutory
and community-based systems. The PRT provides support for both
community-based dispute resolution mechanisms and "bridging
mechanisms" such as the Justice Sub-Committees of District
Community Councils and the Prisoner Review Shuras in those districts
without prosecutors. This helps increase access to the statutory
system and promotes respect for rights and constraining abuse
in both sectors.
107. In Helmand, the UK also works with local
and national justice officials to encourage the expansion of statutory
justice to communities outside Lashkar Gah. There are now prosecutors
allocated to and operating in Gereshk, Garmsir, Nawa, Marjah,
Sangin and Nad Ali. Other initiatives we support include a women
and children's justice group, the Independent Commission for Women
and Children's Rights, and support, through an NGO, for defence
108. The Afghan judicial system still needs to
expand its capacity and capability to prosecute high value targets
in corruption and insurgency cases. Key priorities include developing
Afghan capacity, in terms of investigative, prosecutorial, and
judicial capabilities (especially for the security of judges and
prosecutors) and penal facilities, to take on corruption cases;
and encouraging the Afghan Government to become more transparent
and address the concerns of Parliamentarians and civil society.
109. Overall, strengthening the rule of law across
Afghanistan is a long-term endeavour. It will require significant
financial and human resources for many years to come. Urgently
required resources include civilian expertise to improve the capacity
of Afghan Government institutions to manage and lead reform programmes
themselves; skilled and experienced police officers to advise
the Afghan police through the EUPOL and NATO police reform programmes;
and in the justice sector civilian expertise is needed to help
develop a justice sector that serves a greater proportion of the
Afghan population fairly and transparently. Alongside additional
resources, enhanced co-ordination between all of the government
and NGO actors engaged in rule of law reform can improve delivery
of reform projects and help identify priorities.
110. Despite the difficult security situation,
some progress continues to be made on human rights protection
in Afghanistan. But divisions still exist in Afghan society over
issues such as women's rights, religious freedom and freedom of
expression. New laws on media freedom and violence against women
have been passed but implementation of these is weak.
111. The Kabul Conference communiqué contains
clear commitments on human rights including implementing a National
Priority Program for Human Rights and Civic Responsibilities,
mainstreaming gender equality across all its programmes, and undertaking
human rights, legal awareness and civic education programmes targeting
communities across Afghanistan. The communiqué develops
and strengthens commitments to implement the National Action Plan
for Women and Elimination of Violence Against Women law made initially
at the London Conference. The UK has also provided financial support
to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and is supporting
a Human Rights Support Unit based within the Ministry of Justice.
112. Our Strategic Programme Fund project on support
for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has helped
the country's key human rights institution to effect real
change for the Afghan people, such as having human rights added
to the school curriculum. This project has also enabled the
UK to influence the Commission's reform. We have also helped to
develop the capacity of the Commission, for example through funding
training for one of the Human Rights Commissioners at the University
of Nottingham. On return to Afghanistan, the Commissioner played
a lead role in joint monitoring with the UN Assistance Mission
to Afghanistan of the observance of political rights during the
Presidential and Provincial Council elections.
113. The UK has also provided financial support
for a Human Rights Support Unit in the Ministry of Justice including
international human rights law training. We continue to provide
support for the IEC's Gender Unit to ensure that gender was an
IEC focus as for the 2010 election, and continues to be so as
UNDP ELECT encourages medium-term electoral reform. We are also
working to ensure that the Afghanistan Sub-National Governance
Programme delivers a sustained and sustainable increase in female
114. Many women in Afghanistan, particularly
in rural areas, still face significant hardships and unequal treatment
in part due to poverty and insecurity, and in part due to deeply
held cultural views. A lack of legal protection and inadequate
access to justice increases the risks women face in a society
where the rule of law is still weak. Despite Afghanistan's welcome
national and international commitments to promoting and protecting
women's rights, implementation is weak. Women's NGOs are growing
in confidence and are beginning to understand the benefits of
working as co-ordinated networks but suffer from lack of capacity
to provide strategic leadership and support for women's rights.
The UK is working to improve the situation of women in Afghanistan.
Our comprehensive approach ensures that we address security, stabilisation,
governance and development together. The vast majority of our
programmes contribute to improving the economic, social, cultural
and political rights of the Afghan people. Gender equality is
mainstreamed throughout these programmes, which routinely consider
the impact on, and perspectives of, women. For example, through
our contribution to the ARTF we have helped Afghan girls to realise
their right to education.
115. The UK also supports many targeted projects
and programmes to raise awareness of women's rights, protect women
and improve their status in Afghan society. We funded a five-year
women's empowerment programme implemented by the NGO, Womankind,
and between 2007 and 2009,
DFID supported UNIFEM's programme to support women's peacebuilding
and prevent sexual violence in conflict and crises. Afghanistan
was one of six focus countries. We
are also financially supporting one of Afghanistan's first legal
aid centres for female victims of violence in Kabul. We continue
to target our recruitment for the Chevening programmes to attract
more credible, female candidates. In Helmand, where the situation
for women is particularly difficult, we are building the capacity
of women's civil society, encouraging the development of a female
police cadre, and working with justice providers to ensure that
they recognise women's rights as central to the development of
116. It is important that we ensure women have
as full a participation as possible in any political process.
We welcomed the levels of women's participation in June's Consultative
Peace Jirga, where nearly 25% of the 1,600 attendees were female.
Gender equality is enshrined in the Afghan Constitution and 25%
of the seats in the Lower House of Parliament are reserved for
women. We continue to press for the Afghan Government to implement
the human rights legislation that it has committed to, including
the Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
117. Afghanistan retains the death penalty under
its Constitution. All death sentences require the approval of
the President. No executions have been carried out in Afghanistan
since November 2008, when a number took place in a short space
of time (the Supreme Court has not been open about the exact number,
giving us figures varying from nine to sixteen). Since then President
Karzai has not signed any death warrants, but there remain
around 400 prisoners on death row. The UK is strongly opposed
to the use of the death penalty by any state and we have raised
our concerns in concert with European Union partners and bilaterally
with the Afghan Government.
Freedom of Religion
118. Article two of the Afghan Constitution provides
for freedom of religion, stating that, "Followers of other
faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise
and performance of their religious rituals". But discrimination
continues to occur against Afghans who convert from Islam. The
Afghan legal framework itself does not criminalise conversion
or proselytising, but it is a separate constitutional provision
for Sharia Law that allows the death penalty for conversion. Proselytising
can carry a prison sentence of up to three years. In May 2010,
a debate took place in the Afghan Parliament over a television
documentary showing Afghans converting to Christianity. The clip
caused much anger and a number of MPs called for converted Afghans
to be executed. With EU partners, we investigated reports from
international Christian organisations about the persecution of
Afghan Christians following this debate, but were not able to
confirm any cases where Afghans had been arrested or prosecuted
because of their faith. Two international organisations were suspended
pending investigation by the Afghan Government but have since
recommenced work. One American national and one South African
national were arrested for proselytising and detained for a brief
period before being released and deported.
119. The FCO recently arranged for ten Afghan
Imams (religious leaders) to attend a very successful study course
on applying Islamic thought and tradition in modern situations
at Al Azhar in Egypt. The Imams saw Christians and Muslims living
side by side in Egypt, and equality between women and men. On
return to Kabul the Imams reported that they now believed Muslims
and non-Muslims could live peacefully together, and would share
what they had learned with their communities. The UK has also
run a series of successful exchanges between British and Afghan
religious leaders aimed at countering radicalisation and building
understanding of the compatibility of Christianity and Islam.
As part of this programme, a group of religious leaders from Helmand
recently visited London where they were impressed by the breadth
of Muslim life, the diversity of British culture, and the warm
and respectful welcome they had received.
Education and Health
120. A total of 5.3 million children now attend
37% of whom were girls (up from 1 million in 2001, where none
were girls). The Ministry of Education has developed a comprehensive
National Education Strategic Plan for 2010-14 which has ambition
to have 10 million children enrolled in school and to increase
the adult literacy rate to 40% from 26%. The Asia Foundation's
2009 survey of the Afghan people found that 67% of respondents
believed the availability of children's education to be good,
and 40% thought that access to schools had improved over the last
121. UK funding for education sector is provided
via the ARTF, contributing to the salaries of over 320,000 civil
servants, of whom more than 168,000 are teachers. In Helmand,
Danish colleagues in the PRT lead the implementation of a programme
of immediate stabilisation in the education sector. But challenges
remain. About half the school-age population is still out of school,
with significant gender and provincial disparities. The UK will
continue to support the Afghan Government's development priorities.
We expect that a significant portion of that support will continue
to be used for teachers' salaries, and we will develop a programme
to help young Afghans access more technical and vocational education
in order to stimulate jobs and growth in the Afghan economy.
122. In the immediate post-conflict period, Afghanistan's
health services were in a deplorable state. Availability and quality
of health services were highly variable across provinces and between
urban and rural areas. In response, the Ministry of Public Health
and the major donors developed in early 2002 a new Basic Package
of Health Services (BPHS). Independent evaluations show that the
Ministry of Public Health has made considerable progress in making
the BPHS accessible to most Afghans. By 2009, 85% of districts
had access to the BPHS. 24% of women have access to skilled antenatal
care (compared to only 5% in 2001), and estimates of the under-five
mortality rate have declined from 257 to 161 per 1,000 live births.
UK funding for health is provided via the ARTF.
123. Decades of conflict, poverty and poor service
delivery have led to a breakdown in traditional governance institutions
in many parts of Afghanistan. This has undermined the relationship
between communities and government institutions and has weakened
the ability of both state and community-based governance structures
to deliver social stability and peace. In constitutional terms,
Afghanistan has a centralised administration under a powerful
head of state. But progress is being made on increasing the effectiveness
of governance at the local, or sub-national level. Provincial
Council elections took place in 2005 and 2009. District Council
and Municipal Council elections were originally scheduled to take
place at the same time as Parliamentary elections in September
2010. However, these have been postponed indefinitely because
district numbers, boundaries and population figures have yet to
be determined. The absence of coherent district-level political
structures continues to hamper longer-term development.
124. Sub-national governance structures are essential
to provide basic services like health care, education and justice
to the population. Because of this, effective local governance is
key to overall stabilisation efforts in Afghanistan. But for
most Afghans their encounters with local government are disappointing.
A survey by the Afghan Independent Directorate of Local Government
(IDLG) found that some district governors receive only the equivalent
of six US dollars a month for operational expenses, and many are
semi-literate. 184 governors out of 364 do not have an office,
288 have no vehicle, and 318 have no electricity.
125. Improving local governance in Afghanistan
will be a long-term process, and one that presents considerable
challenges. The IDLG is leading on this agenda, and in June 2009
outlined a set of "priority programmes" to bring coherence
to local government reform. These programmes address capacity
building and institutional development, social outreach, and infrastructure
at provincial, district and municipal levels. UK and international
community support to local governance is co-ordinated around these
priority programmes as a single framework for action.
126. One of the key priority programmes is the
Afghan Social Outreach Programme (ASOP), which has been piloted
in Helmand Province since January 2009. The programme establishes
community councils in districts where there is little or no local
governance in place to help connect citizens to the Government
and enable the delivery of some basic services. Each community
council appoints three sub-committees covering security, justice
and economic and social development. The sub-committees design
plans to improve the local situation, reflecting local needs and
priorities. Examples of community council achievements to date
include resolving local disputes over commercial property, land
and irrigation issues, facilitating compensation claims for local
people and supporting wheat seed distribution. The justice and
security committee in Gereshk, the only council so far to have
female members, has also successfully dealt with disputes involving
domestic violence, divorce and forced marriage. Nine other provinces,
including Kandahar, are now planning to introduce this programme.
127. Following strong commitments made on sub-national
governance at the London Conference, the Afghan Government approved
a Sub-National Governance Policy in March. This demonstrated its
commitment to local governance reform. At the Kabul Conference
the Afghan Government committed to implementing the policy over
the next 12 months. The Afghan Government also detailed a National
Programme for Local Governance that included consideration of
transitioning community development councils, district development
assemblies, and ASOP shuras to elected village and district councils
with legal status within the Constitution. While it is still early
days these developments are all positive signs.
128. Corruption is a serious and endemic problem
in Afghanistan. It hampers socio-economic development and undermines
the legitimacy of the Afghan Government and its ability to deliver
services to the Afghan people. The UK is a key partner for the
Afghan Government on tackling corruption across a range of areas,
including accountability bodies, law enforcement, public financial
management. We are also one of the biggest donors to the anti-corruption
oversight body, the High Office of Oversight.
129. At the London Conference, the Afghan Government
made key commitments to address corruption, a number of which
have been delivered. For example, increased powers and independence
for the High Office of Oversight and the establishment of the
Anti-Corruption Tribunal have both been delivered. The Afghan
Government has also begun compiling asset declarations of government
Ministers and officials.
130. At the Kabul Conference the President committed
to a number of anti-corruption measures. The Government set out
its key plans via the National Transparency and Accountability
Programme. This includes several elements: further legal and institutional
development; strengthening accountability mechanisms; and introducing
transparency initiatives. However, there has been limited progress
in implementation to date.
131. There are arrangements in place to ensure
that DFID funding to the Afghan Government is well protected against
misuse. It is channelled through the Afghanistan Reconstruction
Trust Fund (ARTF). This is a multi-donor fund, managed by the
World Bank, which provides funding to the Afghan Government to
support Government delivery. Expenditure through the ARTF conforms
to strict eligibility criteria and is provided on a reimbursement
basis, after the Government has proven legitimate expenditure.
The ARTF is subject to an annual audit by an international company.
132. The IMF is leading on the response to the
problems with the Kabul Bank, and the US Treasury is heavily involved.
The UK stands ready to support their recommendations through our
influence with the Afghan Government and with the IMF.
133. The return and reintegration of refugees
is priority for the Afghan Government and a key component of the
Afghan National Development Strategy, which the UK is committed
to assist. Since 2002, over 5.6 million Afghans have returned
home from all over the world: a 20% increase in the estimated
population, and a major challenge for Afghanistan's weak infrastructure.
134. In the UK, Afghans are the second highest
asylum intake nationality (around 3,330 cases in 2009, approximately
half of which were from unaccompanied minors primarily young men.
As part of its wider Afghanistan and immigration policies, the
UK supports members of the Afghan diaspora to return home from
the UK through the Returns and Reintegration Fund (RRF), which
is positioned to increase numbers of returnees and improve their
reintegration, for a sustainable return as well as incentivising
return through projects that deliver shelter/housing and livelihoods
programming. As well as increasing the capacity of the Afghan
Government to take back returns for example, by providing funding
for a purpose built, guesthouse for the Ministry of Refugees and
Repatriation which provides temporary accommodation for returnees.
135. The threat from drugs to Afghanistan ranks
alongside the threats from corruption and the threat to security
from the Taliban. The drug trade undermines security and has a
corrosive effect on governance. Achievement of a sustainable reduction
in the production and trade requires effort over a number of years.
Experience in other countries such as Thailand has shown this.
Recent successes are tempered by the relatively high levels of
cultivation that still exist and its increasing concentration
in southern Afghanistan. Helmand is, and is likely to remain,
the main cultivating province for the foreseeable future.
136. Poppy cultivation has remained steady in
2010, following significant decreases in 2008 and 2009. In Helmand,
cultivation has fallen for the second successive year, down 7%
in 2010. The number and location of poppy-free provinces remains
stable at 20 in spite of unprecedentedly high global opium prices.
Beyond Helmand, the picture is mixed; there were decreases in
Uruzgan and Badgis but there was a significant increase in Nangahar.
The drugs trade continues to flourish in conditions of insecurity
and weakest governance. In Kandahar Province, there was an increase
of cultivation in insecure areas but decreases around urban centres.
Drugs and the Insurgency
137. There is now a clear link between the drugs
trade and the insurgency in the south and, to a degree, in the
east and west of Afghanistan. The narco-barons and the insurgents
share a common interest in resisting the authority of the Afghan
Government and international forces. The UNODC estimates that
the insurgency extracted $100 million income from the trade (largely
in the form of a tax, which was, in effect, protection money).
There is growing evidence of weapons caches and heroin laboratories
being co-located and the same routes and vehicles are often used
to transport drugs and weapons. There have been many operations
where narcotics, weapons and bomb-making equipment have been seized
together. In July 2010, an Afghan-led operation seized 15 tonnes
of drugs (including 5,700 kilograms of heroin) and chemicals.
In the same operation, a large number of weapons and bomb making
equipment (and two narcotic labs) were destroyed with the arrest
of 10 insurgents and drug traffickers.
138. The UK has been at the forefront of efforts
within NATO in pressing for ISAF to target the nexus between the
drug trade and the insurgency more effectively. The UK supports
the Afghan security forces in targeting those elements of the
insurgency where there is a clear link to the illegal drugs trade.
It is now important to ensure that ISAF has a positive effect
in supporting Afghan work to tackle the narcotics-insurgency nexus.
UK forces also provide support to Afghan-led operations within
the legal parameters as set out in the NATO Operational Plan.
Over the longer-term, the need to build up Afghan-led interdiction
and disruption operations remains important, together with the
expansion and training of the ANA.
139. The UK has been the G8 Partner Nation for
Afghanistan since 2002 and will be until 2011. We are therefore
ostensibly responsible for leading the international effort to
engage in tackling illicit narcotics in Afghanistan, in particular
in lobbying for support. To this end, we have regular dialogue
with key members of the international community, particularly
the US. The UK's role as G8 lead has been a mixed blessing. It
has allowed us to pursue priorities on the counter-narcotics agenda
(for example, the establishment of the Criminal Justice Task Force
and the Food Zone Programme). But it has also possibly limited
international involvement, with many partners taking more of a
back seat, confident that the UK would do the brunt of the work.
It has also led to criticism of the UK for slow progress on a
complex issue where many factors are beyond our immediate control.
140. The UK, along with the international community
at large, supports the Afghan Government's National Drug Control
Strategy (NDCS) which we helped establish in May 2003. Following
the establishment of the NDCS, our immediate goal has been to
enable the Afghans to work towards a drugs trade divided from
the insurgency and prevented from undermining security, governance
and the economy, to the point where the Afghan Government can
take responsibility for its own counter-narcotics effort and create
a credible risk to the drugs trade. UK activity is therefore concentrated
- targeting the narcotics networks, especially
those that support or facilitate the insurgency;
- maximising Governor outreach and access to markets
for farmers in Helmand; and
- building effective institutional and international
development arrangements to sustain and expand reductions in cultivation.
141. From 2004 to 2009, the UK spent nearly
£180 million on counter-narcotics programmes in Afghanistan.
We intend to spend around £17 million in 2010. This directly
supports the implementation of the NDCS.
142. The UK has also supported the institutional
infrastructure which supports that strategy. The Ministry of Counter-Narcotics
was established in December 2004, supported by a UK £12.5
million capacity-building programme. The ANP was established in
April 2002, the CNPA in early 2003, the Afghan Special Narcotics
Force (ASNF) at the end of 2003, the CJTF and the Counter-Narcotics
Tribunal (CNT) in May 2005, and the Afghan Government's Anti-Corruption
Commission in September 2008. The CNPA, the CJTF and the CNT have
all received UK support. The ASNF is UK-mentored and has been
scoring significant successes against the narco-barons, for instance,
in seizing 238 tonnes of cannabis in June 2008.
Poppy Eradication Policy
143. Poppy eradication policy and its implementation
is the responsibility of the Afghan Government, as set out in
the NDCS. This makes clear that the policy on eradication is that
it should be targeted towards farmers who have access to alternative
licit livelihoods. The UK does not directly eradicate poppy, but
we do provide support for the planning and targeting work of the
144. The Good Performers Initiative (GPI) was
established in 2007 and is a powerful incentive for Governors
to reduce poppy cultivation in their provinces and become "poppy
free". The initiative operates at local community level,
offering high-impact development assistance directly to villages
and communities leading the fight against poppy cultivation. The
GPI primarily rewards poppy-free provinces, but also rewards those
provinces which make significant progress in decreasing cultivation
145. Helmand is the chief opium poppy-growing
province of Afghanistan. Typically, Helmand has produced between
30% and 50% of Afghan opium since the 1990s (with the exception
of 2001, when there was no cultivation there). It is likely to
remain the main cultivating province for the foreseeable future.
In 2010, poppy cultivation in Helmand fell by 7% (therefore better
than the overall national picture) to 65,000 hectares - 53% of
all poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. This builds on the 33% reduction
in Helmand in 2009.
146. In 2008, Helmand's Governor Mangal launched
the Food Zone Programme (FZP). It aims to comprehensively tackle
narcotics in Helmand without seriously disadvantaging the poorest
farmers or driving people further into criminality or towards
the insurgency. The FZP covers four key pillars of Afghanistan's
NDCS: promoting alternative livelihoods; law enforcement; public
information; and drug demand reduction. In its first year, 32,000
households in Helmand benefited from the distribution of wheat
seed. Last year, the FZP distributed wheat seed, fruit saplings,
grapevines and spring/summer crop seeds to 65,000 farmers. Now
entering its third year, the FZP will see the distribution of
subsidised agricultural inputs (packages of wheat seed, non-wheat
and forage crops, and fertilizer). Inputs will be distributed
to 48,000 farmers in the Food Zone (prime land) in 10 districts
of Helmand, including farmers in some of the most insecure districts
such as Sangin and Marjah, between September and end-October.
The FZP is making good headway, even within a challenging security
environment. This is combined with a credible threat that farmers
in the Food Zone who grow poppy may have their crops eradicated.
The effect has been that, in addition to the overall 7% reduction
in poppy planting, poppy has been moved away from good land towards
marginal, arid areas where yields are much lower.
147. In addition to its counter-narcotics effect,
the FZP has had an impact on stabilisation and governance. It
has allowed the Governor to provide practical help to farmers
in a highly visible way and in so doing extend his influence into
areas where the Government has had little control. This year's
distribution of agricultural inputs is funded by the UK (£9.1
million), Denmark (£1.1 million) and contributions from farmers
148. Achieving a sustainable reduction in poppy
cultivation in Helmand will remain a challenge until farmers have
a predictable security environment, as well as access to markets,
irrigation, agricultural support and alternative long-term employment.
Other external factors still influence the decision-making of
farmers in whether to plant poppy, most notably the relative prices
of opium and of licit crops. The concentration of narcotics cultivation
and production in Helmand and other southern provinces in Afghanistan
demonstrates the need for greater action in tackling insecurity
and weak governance - conditions which allow the trade to flourish.
149. It continues to be important that our approach
in Helmand is comprehensive and sophisticated, since an over-emphasis
on wheat would threaten the sustainability of the emerging market
in wheat and create an over-dependency on previously buoyant wheat
prices. Crop diversity is crucial.
A Regional Approach to the Drugs Trade
150. The UK recognises that the problems of the
Afghan drugs trade are not confined within the borders of Afghanistan
- the effects of the trade are felt throughout the region and
have a potentially destabilising effect on fragile states.
151. The UK supports the UNODC's "Rainbow
Strategy" on Afghan drugs, which acknowledges that this "national
problem demands a regional solution". Significant proportions
of Afghan-cultivated drugs are consumed by regional drug markets.
Furthermore, key logistical support to the trade, such as drug-related
money-laundering and precursor chemical sourcing, can be found
within the region. Tackling these logistical elements of the trade,
whilst at the same time progressing the Afghan Government's comprehensive
domestic approach is the only enduring option for reducing the
impact of the trade in the longer-term.
152. The UK sees the UNODC as the natural long-term
partner in the region and is increasingly working to support the
work of UNODC-led regional counter-narcotics co-ordination and
capacity-building mechanisms. For example, the UK applied for
observer status of the Central Asian Regional Information and
Co-ordination Centre in 2010 and is sharing expertise on best
practice with the Secretariat.
153. Though the effectiveness of these regional
co-ordination mechanisms is yet to be fully proven, the UK is
working hard to encourage and support key partners in the region
to co-ordinate under these projects. The region, working with
Afghan partners, needs to co-operate at a policy and operational
level, to tackle the trafficking of Afghan-cultivated drugs and
to take action against key logistical elements, such as money-laundering
and precursor chemicals.
154. Consistent with the process of "Afghanisation",
the UK is looking to transition out of its G8 role, as the mechanism
comes to its natural end. Instead, our focus from 2011 will be
to help establish the UNODC as the main partner with the Afghan
Government. The UNODC is working closely with the Afghan Ministry
of Counter-Narcotics in the development of a sustainable Afghan-led
counter-narcotics policy, including currently supporting the Ministry
of Counter-Narcotics to refresh the NDCS for 2011. This is not
the UK pulling out of counter-narcotics, just looking to do it
differently, consolidating and building upon the progress that
has been made. We will continue to provide direct support to successful
US and UK programmes to build Afghan capacity in the law enforcement
155. Afghanistan's region has an important role
to play in supporting Afghanistan to become a stable and secure
state, as well as to face major challenges including combating
extremism and terrorism, illegal migration, narcotics, and to
promote economic and social development. Afghanistan is actively
seeking to improve its bilateral relations within the region.
It is also working to develop strategies for improved regional
co-operation, with support from the UK and other international
partners and institutions.
156. The UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan
is the main lead on co-ordinating international support. The UK
has actively supported the UN's role and encouraged greater co-ordination
between the UN, EU and NATO, particularly on joined up political
messaging. The UK is also engaging with other international bodies
including the OSCE to explore ways to improve co-ordination.
157. When he was appointed US Special Envoy on
Afghanistan and Pakistan in January 2009, Richard Holbrooke established
an SRAP (Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan)
network which has now grown to some 40 strong, covering G8, several
EU, P5 and regional countries. The network meets several times
a year to share and discuss ideas for political and occasionally
economic progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A caucus of EU
SRAPs help support the EU Presidency in driving forward internal
EU Afghanistan and Pakistan business. The SRAP network is not
a policy formulation or decision-making body.
158. Afghanistan's neighbours have a political
as well as an economic stake in co-operation and the major ethnic
groups such as Hazaras, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Pashtuns all have ties
to neighbouring countries. International recognition of the importance
of regional co-operation in support of Afghan stability has grown
since 2001. None of Afghanistan's neighbours have an interest
in either a return to Taliban rule or absolute chaos in Afghanistan.
They have all, in different ways, suffered as a result of Afghanistan's
varying levels of instability during the past 20 years (drugs,
refugees, border management, economic impact). Some, such as Iran,
are sensitive to any long-term western military presence in Afghanistan.
Russia and China do not want NATO to fail, because of the risk
of extremist contagion. But they, too, are sensitive about the
prospect of a long-term western military presence in Afghanistan.
Pakistan and India regard their ability to exert an influence
in Afghanistan and the wider region as an important way to deliver
their own enduring security and stability.
159. Regional co-operation was a major theme
of the London and Kabul Conferences. To help address this fear
of instability and encourage a supportive and coherent response
from the region, Afghanistan and participants at the Conferences
reaffirmed that they would, among other objectives work actively
for Afghan-led peace, reintegration and reconciliation; to combat
terrorism; develop trans-regional trade; and support people-to
people contact. In addition, Afghanistan is now a member of several
regional organisations, including the South Asian Association
for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), the Economic Co-operation Organisation
(ECO) and Central Asia Regional Economic Co-operation (CAREC).
A number of international donors and financial institutions finance
the development of regional transport and energy infrastructure.
160. The UK advocates a regional (yet Afghan-led)
approach to tackling Afghanistan's problems. In 2005, the UK was
instrumental in setting up the Regional Economic Co-operation
Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), the only regional economic
initiative with Afghanistan at its centre. The UK continues to
support regional co-operation in support of Afghanistan through
funding the establishment of a Centre for Regional Co-operation
(CRC) in the Afghan Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
This Afghan-led centre is tasked with promoting economic integration
between Afghanistan and the broader region.
161. Improved relations between Pakistan and
Afghanistan are in the mutual interest of both countries, as well
as our own. Problems in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region
are shared and represent a global threat. Continued military operations
on both sides of the border are vital to maintaining pressure
on the Taliban. The UK encourages both countries to work together
on security, stability, and prosperity with closer co-operation
between key institutions.
162. Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan
have peaked and troughed since 2001. During a visit to Islamabad
in March 2010, President Karzai described the two countries as
"conjoined twins", symbolising a gradual shift towards
a more co-operative relationship, with both sides trying to tackle
a shared problem. Pakistan is increasingly recognising that it
has suffered, particularly in the border areas, from instability
in Afghanistan. This has prompted Islamabad to increase military
and security co-operation with Kabul. Pakistan also seems to be
taking a greater interest in a political settlement in Afghanistan
through offering support for an Afghan-led reconciliation effort.
163. Despite these encouraging signs, there remains
much to do to build trust between the countries. The UK is committed
to supporting this. We welcome the regular discussions that now
take place between Pakistani and Afghan politicians and officials
on subjects ranging from counter-terrorism to counter-narcotics
and economic growth. Increased technical co-operation between
the two countries' armed forces, police and border management
services is also vital. Progress is being made, but whether implementation
is effectively followed through remains to be seen.
Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement
164. Pakistan is Afghanistan's largest (and a
growing) trading partner. Pakistan and Afghanistan signed a road
map towards ratification of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and
Transit Agreement (APTTA) on 18 July after four years of negotiations.
The agreement is designed to improve trade links by facilitating
imports and exports across Pakistan's land routes to the coast
(Karachi) and India (Wagah). Experts believe implementation could
double annual trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is also
a symbol of increased co-operation between the two countries.
Afghanistan Pakistan Border Region Prosperity
165. The UK has been working within the G8 to
support initiatives focusing on bilateral trade across the border.
This culminated in the launch of the Afghanistan Pakistan Border
Region Prosperity Initiative (APBRPI) during the 2010 G8 Summit
under the Canadian presidency. In its first year, the APBRPI is
expected to focus on two infrastructure projects identified as
priorities by the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, a Peshawar-Jalalabad
Expressway and a feasibility study for a Peshawar-Jalalabad rail
link. Efforts are now focused on working closely with Governments
of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the World Bank and the Asian Development
Bank on implementation, which is likely to take several years.
166. The Dubai Process is a Canadian-led initiative
that brings together officials and experts at a working level
from Afghanistan and Pakistan to address issues of mutual interest,
including counter-narcotics, migration and customs. Recent rounds
of talks have led to agreement on practical steps including on
harmonising plans for development at the border crossing points,
and on a biometrics pilot project. The UK has pledged £350,000
in the current financial year from the Pakistan Conflict Prevention
Pool to support work on enhanced border management, including
through cross-border collaboration. This forms part of the UNODC's
new country programme for Pakistan which supports the Dubai Process.
167. The UK has been at the forefront of the
international community's lobbying for closer co-operation and
co-ordination between the UN, NATO and EU and the Afghan Government.
2010 has seen a real improvement in this relationship. UN Secretary
General's Special Representative to Afghanistan (UN SRSG) Staffan
De Mistura, the NATO Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) Mark
Sedwill and the EU Special Representative (EUSR) Vygaudas Usackas
now meet on a regular basis. The broader international community
also has a role to play. Many of our international partners have
chosen to focus on regional issues - Canada, Germany and the US
are focusing on processes that bring together Afghanistan and
Pakistan, such as the Dubai Process. Others, such as the World
Bank and the Asia Development Bank, are playing a key role in
improving transport and energy infrastructure, whilst NGOs like
the Aga Khan Development Network are implementing development
projects and building up relations between communities in Afghanistan
and neighbouring countries.
168. The United Nations Assistance Mission to
Afghanistan (UNAMA), currently under the leadership of the SRSG
Staffan De Mistura, was established through UNSCR 1401 on 28 March
2002 in support of the Bonn Agreement of the same year. Since
2002, the Mission's mandate has been expanded to include political
outreach, support for sub-national governance (including human
rights), humanitarian aid, elections, co-operation with ISAF,
providing support for an Afghan-led peace process and promoting
international engagement with Afghanistan. UNAMA currently operates
from eight regional offices and 15 provincial offices throughout
169. In recent months UNAMA has increased the
size of its mission in Kabul. UN Security Council Resolution 1917
(2010) stresses the importance of expanding and strengthening
the presence of UNAMA and other UN agencies, funds and programmes
in the provinces of Afghanistan. Security concerns have, in recent
months, made this difficult for the UN. Following an attack on
a UN guesthouse in Kabul in November 2009, extra security restrictions
have been imposed on UN staff. In the run up to the September
Parliamentary elections in September 2010, 600 non-essential staff
were, as a precaution, temporarily evacuated from the country.
Despite this, UN specialist agencies, including the World Food
Programme, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the office of the
UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Health Organisation
now have permanent operations across the country. UN operations
have greatly increased the amount of humanitarian assistance reaching
ordinary Afghans in need.
170. We have welcomed the UN's co-ordinating
role at major international conferences on Afghanistan, such as
co-chairing the London and Kabul Conferences. We have lobbied
for our international partners to provide additional resources
to UNAMA and to offer support to the Mission and to SRSG De Mistura.
We remain strongly supportive of the UN's central role in Afghanistan
and continue to work closely with UNAMA in Kabul and the provinces
of Afghanistan. We continue to offer and look to provide practical
support where possible.
171. The overall EU funding in Afghanistan is
around 1 billion per annum on average. This comprises European
Commission (EC) plus individual Member States' bilateral programmes.
In 2010, the EC spend under the Development Co-operation Instrument
(DCI), which is the main country programme for Afghanistan, is
projected to be around 168 million. This will be spent on
programmes for local development, health, governance, and regional
co-operation. In addition to spending under the DCI, around 41million
is projected to be spent from other EU instruments, including
Humanitarian Aid, Food Security, and the European Instrument for
Democracy and Human Rights.
172. The European Commission is in the final
stages of preparing a new National Indicative Programme for 2011-13,
with an increased allocation of 200 million per year for
the Afghanistan DCI country programme. Projects will focus on
rural development, governance and rule of law, including justice
and police reform, and health. In addition to these main focal
areas, EC assistance will also be channelled into programmes for
vulnerable groups such as street children, orphans and abandoned
women, continuing the EC de-mining programme in partnership with
the UN, and support for initiatives to build regional co-operation
in trade, border management and co-operation on counter-narcotics.
173. The EU Action Plan for enhanced engagement
in Afghanistan was adopted at the 2009 October European Council.
It is a road map for a strengthened, more co-ordinated EU effort
which also aims to align EC programmes with those of other
Member States. EU Special Representative (EUSR), Lithuanian former
Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas, took up position in Kabul on
2 April in a double-hatted role, combining head of the EU delegation
in Afghanistan and head of the EC's technical assistance operations
with oversight of all EC managed assistance programmes. The UK
welcomed Usackas's focus on accelerating implementation of the
EU Action Plan and urged Member States to do all they can to ensure
Usackas had all the support he needed to deliver. The UK also
welcomed Usackas's position as Head of a strengthened and streamlined
EU Delegation, bringing together the offices of the EC and EU
Special Representative as a signal that the EU was increasing
its focus in Afghanistan.
174. There are a number of other International
Institutions and International Financial Institutions involved
in Afghanistan including the Organisation for Security and Co-operation
in Europe (OSCE), Asia Development Bank (ADB)/Central Asia/Regional
Economic Co-operation (CAREC), the World Bank and the Islamic
Development Bank (IDB).
International community communications
175. In 2001, post-11 September 2001, the message
was clear: it was in the interests of international security to
remove the Taliban regime.
176. Since that time, unity of message has been
more difficult. ISAF nations have had differing experiences, depending
on resources and geographical deployment, and this has been reflected
in differing messages being conveyed to domestic audiences. Those
engaged in relatively secure and stable areas, for example, communicated
a more upbeat message of reconstruction. Confusion grew about
whether the international community's efforts were aimed at tackling
international terrorism, countering insurgency, humanitarian relief
or promoting democracy. This confusion - together with increasing
investment required by counter insurgency, inevitable setbacks
in progress including civilian casualties and insurgent propaganda
- led many, in Afghanistan and internationally, to question the
international community's strategy.
177. NATO/ISAF and the wider international community
recognised these challenges and the obstacles such communication
presented to the success of our engagement in Afghanistan. Resource
was invested in strategic communication to achieve a more coherent
explanation of the international engagement in Afghanistan, including
prioritising support to Afghan Government communication efforts.
178. Coherence of communications improved in
mid 2009 when ISAF nations publicly endorsed the new population-centric
counter-insurgency strategy drawn up by the then Commander of
ISAF, General Stanley McChrystal. This strategy allowed ISAF nations
to coalesce around one political-military counter-insurgency strategy
which, in turn, encouraged communicators across NATO/ISAF to focus
their messaging on countering the insurgency whilst protecting
the population and reducing civilian casualties to help build
a stable and secure Afghanistan, able to take responsibility for
its own security and prevent the return of al-Qaeda. The current
Commander of ISAF, General David Petraeus, has firmly and publicly
asserted his commitment to the counter-insurgency strategy. International
community messages are now broadly consistent, focusing on the
importance of building the Afghan National Security Forces, combating
corruption and improving governance in Afghanistan to enable the
Afghan Government to lead the security responsibility throughout
the country and ISAF combat troops can begin to draw down towards
179. Although the message is clearer, the international
community continues to contend with waning public support for
its engagement in Afghanistan. Media attention focuses on ISAF
and civilian casualties, allegations of fraud in Presidential
and Parliamentary elections, corruption and difficulty in improving
the capacity and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces.
180. The UK is recognised within NATO as a nation
which is driving improvements in NATO/ISAF strategic communications.
The British Embassy works closely and successfully with international
communicators in Kabul to harmonise messaging. A clear example
of this was the way in which the Embassy worked with the UN, ISAF,
SCR's Office, EU, US and Canadians on recent Parliamentary elections.
We will continue to work with our international partners to ensure
we maximise the effect of joint efforts, including working with
NATO/ISAF to find new ways to communicate evidence of nation-wide
progress. The international community also needs to do more to
build the Afghan Government's capacity to communicate with its
domestic, and with international, media. All of these efforts
must inform a coherent and persuasive narrative to ensure Afghan
and international audiences lend their support to, and share the
burden of, the international community's continued engagement
181. Stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan are
inextricably linked. A widening of the international strategic
communications effort is needed to try to reduce misunderstandings
and suspicion between Afghanistan and Pakistan,
by establishing a better ISAF narrative for Pakistan. This
must recognise the unique political, social and security structures
in Pakistan whilst reinforcing the requirement for co-operation
and coherence between Pakistani and Afghan political and military
strategies to defeat the shared challenges of terrorism and militancy, and
set the conditions for regional security and stability.
182. The UK's primary communications objective
is to improve public understanding of, and support for, the campaign
in Afghanistan. Additional priorities include: demonstrating commitment
to, and the commitment of, our troops (equipment; care and support;
recognising achievements and sacrifice); highlighting progress;
and 'internationalising' our message. We aim to achieve this through
a cross-governmental approach, which co-ordinates departmental
efforts and ensures all activities are consistent with the overall
strategic narrative. The PUS of Government Communications chairs
a weekly meeting of Communication Directors and officials from
key departments. Day to day co-ordination at working level is
led by the Cross-Government Afghan Communications Team (ACT),
based in the FCO and reporting to Number Ten. A weekly meeting
of the Afghan Information Strategy Group brings together officials
from the ACT, FCO, MOD, DFID, Stabilisation Unit, British Embassy
Kabul, ISAF, Provincial Reconstruction Team Lashkar Gah and the
UK Delegation to NATO to discuss current issues.
183. Departments and Posts work together to engage
the domestic, Afghan and international media and opinion formers,
and improve Afghan communications capacity and impact. These efforts
aim to deepen public and international understanding of why we
are in Afghanistan, explain the national security angle, broaden
coverage beyond military operations and present a clear, realistic
picture of Afghans taking increasing responsibility for their
184. Activities include: a programme of cross-Government
Ministerial/Senior Official media briefings; a media embed programme
to Helmand; quarterly meetings with key interest groups, including
Parliamentarians, the Diplomatic Corps in London, NGOs and the
Afghan diaspora; digital diplomacy (websites, Twitter Q&A);
outreach events; seminars; debates and visits. Specific activities
are also carried out around significant events, such as the London
Conference in January, the Kabul Conference in July, security
operations (e.g. Moshtarak), and Presidential and Parliamentary
185. The media focus on the security challenge
and continuing British casualties, with relatively little attention
paid to progress in other areas, impacts upon public opinion on
the international campaign. For now the UK public remains supportive
of UK forces involvement in Afghanistan (source: MOD polling),
but less supportive of overall UK involvement (source: various
polling). Opposition has grown over recent years at the same time
as any perception of progress has diminished. Our principal challenge,
therefore, is to demonstrate more effectively the real progress
that is being made across the country, particularly on governance,
justice and economic development.
186. The UK Government operates a system of embedded
reporting slots, or 'embeds' to showcase the progress being made
in Helmand. A cross-Government group, consisting of representatives
from DFID, the FCO, and MOD, meets regularly to discuss which
reporters to engage on visits to the PRT. Depending on their intended
focus - military, political or development - the reporters are
then taken on a tailored programme to meet people, and visit sites,
which will be of interest. This embed programme has resulted in
significant, sustained coverage in print and broadcast media for
the UK's efforts in Helmand, across a broad spectrum of military
and development work. There is also an active, Kabul-based press
corps that represents a number of UK media outlets, including
the BBC, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The
187. The focus on Helmand and the ongoing military
operations there is understandable given the scale of the UK military
effort and the concentration of our presence in southern Afghanistan.
However, it has presented a significant challenge in terms of
communicating progress and stabilisation, both in Helmand and
in Afghanistan as a whole. Communicating non-military progress
will be an essential element of the transition process. Part of
the communications challenge will be to demonstrate that Afghanistan
has the capability to manage its own security and governance.
188. Work continues to co-ordinate further the
international communications effort, to provide systematic messaging
for the UK public on progress and to encourage the media to broaden
its focus to include reporting of progress across Afghanistan
as well as Helmand. As part of this work we are reviewing whether
our current embed system, which facilitates a Helmand focus, should
be reconfigured. Regarding the political track, the international
community is agreed that this must be Afghan-led. Our primary
objective is to support the Afghan Government's delivery of commitments
to the Afghan people, with the international community playing
a discreet role in support of this.
189. The FCO is committed to strengthening its
links with Parliament. To this end, after the current Government
was formed, the FCO held open days for Parliamentarians, including
a specific session on Afghanistan and Pakistan. The FCO also organised
a briefing for MPs by key Ambassadors in the South Asian region,
including the Ambassadors to Kabul, Islamabad and Washington,
enabling Parliamentarians to debate the issues in-depth.
190. The Prime Minister has undertaken to keep
Parliament regularly informed on progress in Afghanistan, which
will ensure that there is regular opportunity to debate these
important issues in the House.
191. The Government holds quarterly roundtable
meetings for Parliamentarians, hosted by Ministers, with senior
officials from across government departments. FCO and other government
officials regularly attend APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group
- for Afghanistan) and other relevant meetings held in Parliament,
and speak at these events if invited. The FCO, alongside other
government departments has also facilitated visits to Afghanistan
for parliamentary committees.
The extremist narrative
192. Through the overseas counter-terrorism PREVENT
strategy, the UK is countering the ideology and narrative that
terrorists use and tackling radicalisation in countries that represent
the most significant threat to the UK and UK interests. Examples
of the work we are doing in this area include redrafting foreign
policy public lines to rebut the conspiracy theories articulated
by al-Qaeda and linked extremists.
193. Military intervention by international forces
in Afghanistan was a cause of concern to many in Muslim communities
both in the UK and overseas. Extremists including al-Qaeda and
the Taliban have exploited this concern since 2001 when calling
for attacks against the West, by arguing that military intervention
in Afghanistan was part of some wider campaign against Islam.
The objective of our work on Afghanistan is to undermine the (large)
role that the Afghan insurgency plays in the global, extremist
narrative. A wide range of commentators within the Islamic world
do recognise the important role the international community is
playing in Afghanistan.
194. Since March 2008 the FCO's PREVENT team
has driven an outreach programme aimed at opening up spaces for
informed debate with British Muslim communities around foreign
policy. To date, over 100 events have taken place across the UK
involving Ministers and officials.
195. Ministers have taken part in discussions
with Muslim opinion formers as well as debates with young Muslims.
These have provided the Government with opportunities to engage
at grass roots level and have been extremely successful in allowing
us to communicate our policies around issues such as Afghanistan.
The programme has been well received and audiences have made clear
their appreciation for our willingness to engage, especially on
the harder issues. We have received positive feedback from participants
after events, many of whom comment that the outreach events have
made them think more critically about how foreign policy is formed.
Since its inception, the appetite for these outreach events has
grown substantially - a further measure of success.
196. In addition, the UK has put in place a programme
of "Projecting British Muslims" (PBM) visits by prominent
British Muslims to Muslim-majority countries. The aim is to provide
a platform for British Muslims to share their experiences as Muslims
in Britain today and engage in constructive dialogue and debate.
197. Two PBM visits to Afghanistan in October
2009 and September 2010 were intended to counter the narrative
propagated by violent extremists, including insurgents in Afghanistan,
that the UK is hostile to the Muslim world. These visits have
also helped to undermine extremist propaganda in the UK. During
the most recent trip the delegates acknowledged that they arrived
in Afghanistan with preconceived ideas of the challenges faced
by all parties in bringing about a peaceful and stable solution.
One of the delegates said he had been very sceptical of UK Government
policy in Afghanistan. However, by the end of the trip, their
views had changed. One delegate said: "Coming here and seeing
with your own eyes what's happening with the training and the
resources shows you how committed everyone is to making Afghanistan
a better place". Upon return to the UK the delegates have
been active within their communities (in schools, with fellow
scholars and in local mosques) in sharing their experiences,
helping to correct possible misconceptions about the UK in Afghanistan.
198. To break down Afghan misconceptions about
UK life and the reasons for UK involvement in Afghanistan, the
UK strategy will continue to include public diplomacy and outreach
efforts, such as bilateral visits by prominent Muslim opinion-formers.
The visit by the Director of Hajj to the UK, accompanied
by two Helmand journalists at the Government's invitation,
(March 2010) was a good example of the power of showing the diverse
face of modern Britain to Afghan influencers. The delegation was
able to meet a broad range of people in the UK.
199. The FCO has worked hard to explain our foreign
policy to the UK and international public in order to address
inaccurate perceptions. We do this through media and public diplomacy
work, including putting Arabic and Urdu-speaking spokespeople
forward to media outlets such as Al Jazeera, and speeches, interviews
and articles by Ministers and Ambassadors.
- BUILDING GOVERNMENT
200. There are four areas of focus to our communications
activities in Afghanistan: increasing the Afghan Government's
ability to communicate credibly and authoritatively with the Afghan
people, particularly in the Pashtun Belt; helping the independent
media in Afghanistan to increase its capacity; disseminating UK
messages to the Afghan public via the Afghan media; and working
closely with the international community to harmonise messaging
around key events (eg Kabul Conference, Elections) as well as
encouraging the Afghan Government to adopt effective Afghan-facing
communications plans for these events.
Afghanistan media environment
201. Under the Taliban, the Afghan media was
extremely restricted. Today, although still in its infancy, there
is a growing independent media sector. According to BBC Monitoring
data, there are around 140 radio and 65 television stations operating
across the country, although many of these are broadcast only
at the local or provincial level. There are thought to be around
200 urban-based press titles with around 30 considered to be significant.
Around 80% of Afghanistan's urban population has access to a television,
a figure that falls to around 30% in rural areas. Almost 90% of
Afghans listen to the radio at least once a month. Internet penetration
is small but growing.
Mobile phone ownership and use is increasing and various international
partners are looking into ways to exploit this for messaging purposes.
However increasing access to television in rural areas may be
a more effective means of reaching key audiences.
202. The principles of free speech are included
in the Afghan Constitution and defined in a media law passed in
2008 by the Afghan Parliament. The law has, however, yet to be
implemented. Ensuring that the freedom of expression guaranteed
by the Afghan Constitution is delivered is a challenge. Journalists
are still sometimes subjected to intimidation and restrictions
(both from the insurgency and the Government).
Building Afghan Government Communications Capacity
203. The Afghan Government's own capacity to
communicate credibly and authoritatively has improved since 2007.
The Government Media and Information Centre (GMIC) established
in 2008 by the UK with support from international partners hosts
several ministerial press conferences per week, including a weekly
update from the President's spokesman and a weekly joint Afghan
MOD-ISAF press update. The GMIC recently moved to new premises
close to the MFA with larger and more substantial briefing facilities.
It played a key role in the communications effort for the Kabul
Conference when its new facilities met the needs of the international
and Afghan press. The GMIC also provides training to ministerial
and provincial government press officers. In the last year a new
regional GMIC has opened in Kandahar and plans are being formulated
for another to open later this year. The Office of the President's
Spokesperson is the government office which works to co-ordinate
public information efforts across government and with international
partners. The GMIC falls under the remit of this office.
204. Although the GMIC is a positive start, institutionalising
the GMIC communications approach within the Afghan Government
and standardising best communications practice across government
departments will require reliable, long-term international funding
and support. The Office of the President's Spokesperson has improved
its role in providing leadership on government communications.
Likewise certain ministries, such as the Ministry of Defence and
Ministry of Interior, are improving but the communications performance
of other ministries is varied. Ministries face practical communications
challenges ranging from defunct press offices to intermittent
electricity supply and lack of IT. Some ministries which are central
to the quality of peoples' lives fail to communicate with the
Afghan public. There is currently no coherent international effort
to help the Afghan Government address this situation, and the
ANDS (Afghan National Development Strategy) does not encompass
205. To address this, the UK is seeking the co-operation
of the Afghan Government and international partners to set up
an international trust fund in 2010-11 for the development of
an Afghan Government Information Service (AGIS). This would seek
to develop the GMIC into a government communications service with
common standards across ministries and provincial governors' offices.
The fund would support the training and deployment of professional
communicators to each of the 25 ministries and 34 provincial governors'
offices. The project seeks to improve donor co-ordination so that
all major international donors supporting Afghan Government communications
work to the same plan and the same standards. This is a long-term
endeavour likely to require three to five years of funding. If
successful, it would considerably improve the ability of the Government
to communicate with the Afghan people, which should boost its
credibility in the eyes of the Afghan public whilst undermining
that of the insurgency.
Developing effective communication between the
Government and the population in Helmand
206. In Helmand, Governor Mangal is making impressive
efforts to communicate with the Helmandi population, both in person
at shuras and over the radio, enabling him to interact directly
with them, and highlight progress in the province. He has become
increasingly effective at getting positive messages out through
both local and national media. His press team is supported and
mentored by the PRT Strategic Communications team.
207. The strategic communications priorities
for the Helmand PRT this year are: to continue to build Helmand
Government capacity and capability to engage; to support the development
of a stronger and larger independent media sector; to mentor the
Helmand Government in the delivery of a series of campaigns to
highlight progress in Helmand to seek to achieve behaviour change
which undermines the insurgency.
208. Government capacity building is focused
on developing the ability to engage beyond the provincial centre
and on increasing the number of provincial officials who are capable
of media engagement. A provincial information network has been
established through the appointment of District Communications
Advisors. They will engage with the media where opportunities
arise, act as a conduit for messaging from Lashkar Gah, will pass
information back to the Government Media Centre and help the Government
to engage through informal, traditional Afghan communication methods
such as shuras. A professional training course is being provided
to ensure the District Communications Advisers are capable of
filling their roles. Media training will also be provided for
officials from a range of departments.
209. Work to support the independent media sector
is focused on establishing a media presence beyond the provincial
centre through a training and mentoring programme for journalists
based in the districts. The PRT is also providing refresher training
to journalists based in Lashkar Gah. With no Lashkar Gah-based
print media, and no physical distribution capacity, the focus
is on radio. The PRT and TFH are supportive of the private FM
channels, including a female-oriented station and are supporting
them through funds for the Government Media Centre for public
information campaigns. The programming capacity of the stations
is still very limited. There is a huge demand for Pashtu language
content. The PRT is considering how to establish a media production
college in the Southern Pashtun belt that would train producers
to meet this demand.
210. The PRT is also working to encourage the
Helmand Government to adopt a campaigning approach to communication.
Through improved message and product development by the Government
Media Centre, effective use of all available delivery mechanisms,
(including media relations, bought broadcast, print media and
formal and informal networks for word-of-mouth communication)
and measurement of effect, the Government will be more able to
engage with the population and demonstrate progress throughout
Helmand. Communicating that progress, authentically through Helmandi
channels, will build government credibility and help to undermine
Improving Afghan Independent Media
211. In parallel to the AGIS, the UK is also
working with international partners in 2010-11 to try to develop
an international trust fund to develop the Afghan independent
media. As with the AGIS, this would seek to improve donor co-ordination
in support of the Afghan media and help it develop into a useful
democratic tool to hold the Government to account, whilst providing
an independent (from either Government or Taliban control) source
of information. This should weaken the insurgency by challenging
Taliban propaganda and, gradually and in concert with progress
in areas such as anti-corruption, increase public confidence in
the Afghan Government.
212. The UK continues to provide financial support
for media development projects delivered by organisations such
as the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST). In 2008-09 and 2009-10
we provided around £340,000 of funding to BBC WS to establish
and broadcast the Pashtu language news show, Stasu Naray, which
received good feedback during audience polling in the summer of
2009. In 2009-10 we continued our support for Straight Talk, a
youth-oriented news show, with £60,000. This developed its
output to include live broadcasts as well as syndicated repeat
transmissions on over 20 radio stations across Afghanistan. Limited
qualitative evaluation indicates that the show is popular in the
south of Afghanistan (a key audience) and amongst women. We also
allocated £100,000 to the popular BBC show New Home, New
Life, which has an audience of around 14 million.
213. The UK has also provided support for developing
Afghanistan's communications infrastructure. In 2009-10 the FCO
allocated funding to the BBC WST for three extra FM radio transmitters
to be constructed in southern Afghanistan. The BBC WST has identified
suitable sites, bought the equipment and is in the process of
erecting the transmitters.
214. The Afghan Government increasingly has to
contend with the insurgency's ability to wage sophisticated information
warfare. The insurgency propaganda machine is highly reactive
and not bound by the complexities of fact. "Traditional"
communications channels (i.e. word of mouth) remain powerful,
especially in the south of the country. In the absence of timely
and authoritative government information, rumour and propaganda
can easily dominate.
215. The Afghan Government needs also to improve
the delivery of security, justice and essential services if it
is to enhance its credibility and gain the confidence of the people.
Communications can help to amplify successes in these areas and
build momentum, but communications need to be underpinned by actual
progress in these areas.
216. The British Government is committed to a
long-term, productive partnership with Pakistan based on shared
interests and mutual respect. The multiplicity of British connections
to Pakistan through families and history gives Britain a particular
role in supporting Pakistan's democratic future: we are committed
to strengthening strategic and co-operative ties between both
countries, including through an enhanced UK-Pakistan Strategic
217. The UK-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was launched
in May 2009 by then PM Gordon Brown and President Zardari to provide
a framework for the UK's high-level engagement on a range of shared
interests. UK priorities under the dialogue include closer co-operation
on counter-terrorism and education. Pakistani priorities are greater
trade access to the EU, migration and visas, and access to UK
technology and funding.
218. The Prime Minister and President Zardari
publicly committed on 6 August 2010 to deepening and enhancing
the UK-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, during President Zardari's
visit to London. The first substantive meeting under the enhanced
Dialogue will take place during the visit of Foreign Minister
Qureshi to London in October. The Prime Minister has committed
to visit Pakistan for the first annual Summit under the enhanced
219. Pakistan's democracy is in transition, following
a return to democratic rule in 2008. The ruling Pakistan People's
Party (PPP) is led by President Zardari. Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan
Muslim League - PML (N) - is the main opposition party and there
are a variety of other vocal regional parties. The military remains
both popular with ordinary Pakistanis and institutionally powerful:
it recently saw a significant uplift to its funding in the current
budget agreed by the Government. The judiciary also wields significant
influence. Tensions remain between the Supreme Court and the Executive,
particularly surrounding a number of high profile corruption cases
involving members of the Government.
220. Over the past year the Government has made
progress towards a more embedded civilian democracy. In April
2010, President Zardari signed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution,
the result of long-term negotiations between all political parties,
and passed by both the National Assembly and the Senate unanimously.
The 18th Amendment is one of the most complex pieces of legislation
passed by the Pakistani Parliament. It provides for a re-balancing
of power from the Presidency in favour of the Prime Minister and
Parliament, in line with the provisions of the 1973 Constitution.
Many powers reserved by the federal government have been devolved
exclusively to the provinces, which will help to restore the balance
between the centre and the periphery and begin to address longstanding
grievances. Additional measures include a new judicial commission
created to reduce political interference in the judicial system
and the renaming of North West Frontier Province as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The cross-party consensus achieved during the consultation and
ratification process represented a significant step forward for
221. The Supreme Court has taken up the 18th
Amendment with specific regard to the judicial commission and
the appointment process, which it feels allows too much power
to the executive. They have yet to rule on the legislation but
until they do, progress on implementation cannot be made. Effective
implementation will be the key challenge. This includes ensuring
that provincial authorities have the human and financial resources
to perform their new functions and establishing an effective form
of local government in the provinces, which is likely to take
several years. Pakistan's floods have highlighted issues with
the capacity of the provincial governments, who will become responsible
for delivering the majority of state services following the implementation
of these constitutional reforms.
222. The federal elections of 2008 were important
for Pakistan's democracy. The EU and other election observation
bodies made a number of recommendations to make elections in Pakistan
fully fair and free. This is an important indicator for Pakistan's
transition to a stable and democratic civilian state. The next
federal elections are scheduled for 2013. The UK is working with
the international community to support electoral reform via an
international co-ordination group, the Electoral Support Group,
with IFES (a respected international election organisation) as
the secretariat and advisers. There has been significant progress,
resulting in the recent launch and steps towards implementation
of a five-year strategy to tackle the problems highlighted by
the international community in the last elections.
UK TRADE AND
223. The UK and Pakistan are partners in business
and we are looking to build on the strong commercial links between
both countries. The UK's Deputy High Commission in Karachi is
the centre of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) activity in Pakistan.
We are focused on facilitating better trade between the two countries,
which we will support with a number of measures, including the
UK-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. Trade between the UK and Pakistan
is worth £1 billion per year and we are working to ensure
that this increases. In 2009, the UK exported £458 million
in goods and services and the UK imported £646 million in
goods and services from Pakistan. The UK is the second largest
bilateral overseas investor in Pakistan with over 100 UK companies
now operating there. Major players include Unilever, Shell, BP,
GlaxoSmithKline, Standard Chartered Bank, International Power,
HSBC and Barclays. Thanks to its pro-business regulatory regime,
which allows 100% remittance of capital and profits in many sectors
(top in South Asia on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business
survey), experienced international firms are comfortable doing
business in Pakistan and make impressive profits. Six of the 16
foreign petroleum companies and two of the 16 private independent
power producers are British. British pharmaceutical firms have
a 31% share of the market. There is a substantial and growing
presence in the health, education and retail sectors.
Trade Capacity Building
224. The EC have committed to providing 15
million for trade co-operation, 2011-13, and the UK will work
closely with the EC and other partners such as the Asian Development
Bank to ensure the most effective trade capacity building measures
Imports and Exports
UK EXPORTS TO PAKISTAN
(SOURCE BIS, STATISTICS AND ANALYSIS.
MOST RECENT COVER THE PERIOD JAN - JUNE 2010, PROVIDED SEPTEMBER
||2010 (Jan-June)||% Change
|UK Imports from Pakistan
225. Major Pakistani imports from the UK are specialised industrial
machinery, power generation machinery, Telecom and Broadcasting
Equipment, chemicals, pharmaceutical and medical products, and
metalliferous ores and metal scrap. Major Pakistani exports to
UK are textiles (yarn, fabric, garments, towels and bedding),
rice, leather and leather products, carpets and fruit. The UK
is the fourth largest trading partner among OECD countries.
226. The British-Pakistan Foundation was first proposed
by Foreign Minister Qureshi in July 2009. Following an initial
consultative meeting in the UK in January 2010,
a steering board was established and has since led on progress
with the FCO and the Pakistan High Commission working together
in a supportive role, where required. The Foundation's senior
board members are James Caan, Khalid Darr, Mahnaz Malik, Faisal
Mian, Asif Rangoonwala, Kashif Zafar.
227. The Foundation will be formally launched on 16 October
in an event largely focused on fundraising for Pakistan's flood
appeal. It will be a self-funded, non-political, independent organisation
that aims to promote cross-cultural and economic links, with a
focus on youth, and to celebrate and deepen the strong UK-Pakistan
228. Migration is a high profile issue for the Government
of Pakistan, media and British-Pakistanis as well as being a high
priority for the UK Government. The UK welcomes all genuine visitors
from Pakistan, who can demonstrate that they meet the UK's entry
requirements. Visa application numbers are the fourth highest
in the world. Pakistan has one of the highest refusal rates due
to concerns around security, fraud, forced marriage and economic
229. A number of projects support the UK's migration policy
in Pakistan, including under the Returns and Reintegration fund.
Examples of these projects include a capacity building project
within the Federal Investigation Agency and the development and
maintenance of the Managed Migration Cell, which has been used
to conduct migration research projects. These initiatives have
helped facilitate the development of an effective relationship
with the Pakistani Government which has in turn seen an increase
in co-operation on migration issues. The UK also supports projects
which allow illegal migrants the opportunity to return to Pakistan
The Visa Operation
230. The UK is committed to providing an efficient and effective
visa service for our customers. Applications submitted in Pakistan
are assessed in the same manner and against the same immigration
rules as applications from every other nationality. UKBA process
applications from Pakistan across three locations: Islamabad,
Abu Dhabi and the UK Visa Section. The Islamabad and Abu Dhabi
visa sections process Pakistani non-settlement applications, and
are currently assessing applications within the global customer
service standards. The problems of 2009 have been overcome; the
UK Visa Section currently processes Pakistani settlement applications
and is also operating within customer service standards.
English language requirement for spouses
231. The UK Government announced on 9 June 2010 that it would
introduce an English language requirement for non-European nationals
seeking to enter or remain in the UK as the spouse or partner
of a British citizen or person settled here. This is a new requirement
for the marriage visa route and will be brought in on 29 November
2010. Until then, there is currently no English requirement for
those entering the UK on spouse visas or as a partner of a British
citizen or permanent resident. Spouses are currently required
to demonstrate English language ability and knowledge of life
in the UK before being granted indefinite leave to remain (following
completion of two years' leave in the UK). The aim is to promote
integration into British society and ensure that migrant spouses
are equipped to play a full part in British life. We will review
language requirements across the immigration system in the future
to ensure requirements are being set at the right level.
232. We have had a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
on Managed Migration between the UK and Pakistan for the past
five years. A new EU Readmission Agreement (EURA) with Pakistan
has been negotiated. The European Parliament gave its consent
to the Agreement on 21 September 2010 and the Agreement now needs
to be formally adopted by the Council.
Illegal migration from Pakistan to the UK
233. Migration drivers, primarily high unemployment and poorly
paid employment, remain a significant issue for Pakistan, and
its remittance economy continues to grow substantially. Illegal
clandestine migration poses serious risks to the safety of illegal
migrants: we discourage people from taking the decision to attempt
to work in the UK illegally.
234. The majority of British nationals in Pakistan are dual
nationals either living in Pakistan or visiting family members
(estimated to be approximately 80,000 at any one time). Consular
assistance is only offered to dual nationals in exceptional circumstances.
The High Commission deals with a number of complex and sensitive
cases; many of which attract substantial media and parliamentary
attention. These include forced marriages, international parental
child abduction, kidnaps, detainees and subsequent allegations
of mistreatment and/or death penalty sentences, vulnerable adults
being held against their will and a range of personal disputes
including about property ownership.
235. The Forced Marriage Unit (a joint unit of the Home Office
and FCO) was set up in 2005. It is the central point in Government
for forced marriage policy, undertakes an outreach programme of
over 80 events a year, and runs a helpline to provide support
and assistance to victims of forced marriage and to professionals
who come across cases. In 2009, the Unit dealt with nearly 1,700
reports of possible forced marriage. 56% of these were linked
to Pakistan and the majority of those to Mirpur in Kasmir. The
Unit's assistance ranges from simple advice, right through to
rescues, overseas. It also helps those who are being forced to
sponsor a visa for their unwanted spouse to come to the UK.
236. In Pakistan we work very closely with the police and
other agencies to provide support to British national and dual
nationals - for example, the police accompany our consular staff
on rescues or other visits. It is substantially easier to do this
work in Pakistan than in other countries where we do not have
237. The Forced Marriage Act was passed with cross-party support
in 1997 and provides for forced marriage protection orders which
can be used to prevent a forced marriage taking place or to protect
someone who has already been forced into marriage. So far over
150 orders have been taken out. In 2008, we raised the age at
which someone can sponsor a spouse to come to the UK from 18 to
21, in part to give young people more time to mature and stand
up to those seeking to force them into marriage. This policy is
currently being tested in the courts.
238. The kidnapping of British citizens is a growing strategic
threat. There has been a rise in the number of kidnaps-for-ransom
and associated offences involving UK citizens in Pakistan over
the period 2006-09.
239. The UK law-enforcement response is co-ordinated by SOCA's
Anti Kidnap and Extortion Unit (AKEU). SOCA Liaison Officers in
Pakistan, in consultation with the FCO Consular Division, are
responsible - together with AKEU - for providing the link between
Pakistani investigating agencies and relevant UK police forces.
International Parental Child Abduction
240. More British children are abducted by parents to Pakistan,
or retained there after a visit, than to any other country. Over
200 cases have come to our attention since 2003. Cases will usually
involve a child being abducted contrary to a court order (or the
wishes of the other parent) or retained after a holiday visit.
If parents cannot reach an amicable agreement they need to start
legal proceedings in Pakistan. Cases can be difficult to resolve.
241. The UK/Pakistan Protocol is a judicial understanding
and was signed in 2003 to provide a mechanism between jurisdictions
to better handle child abduction cases. It aims to secure the
return of an abducted child to the country where they normally
live for custody issues to be decided there without regard to
the nationality, culture or religion of the parents. The Protocol
is not legally binding. The 1980 Hague Convention is generally
regarded as the best means of resolving parental child abduction
cases as it aims to return an abducted child to the country where
they normally live, so the courts there can decide on issues of
custody and access.
242. Mistreatment whilst detained is considered an "exceptional
circumstance" in relation to our policy on dual nationals
and we will provide consular support. A number of British nationals
have complained of mistreatment/torture whilst in custody in Pakistan,
including both physical and verbal. We raise the individual cases
with the Pakistani authorities only when requested to by the detainee,
in line with our usual policy on providing consular assistance.
243. Receiving the death penalty is considered an "exceptional
circumstance" in relation to our policy on dual nationals
and we will provide consular support. There are more British nationals
on trial with charges carrying a potential death penalty in Pakistan
than in any other country. As well as bilateral action, we have
regularly raised the abolition of the death penalty more generally
with the Government of Pakistan together with EU partners. No
British nationals have been executed recently and there are currently
discussions about a moratorium on executions.
244. The UK and Pakistan have a Prisoner Transfer Agreement
ratified in August 2008.
Held Against Will (HAW) case
245. There are an increasing number of Held Against Will cases
in Pakistan. These are usually within the same family and are
related to drug rehabilitation or religious schooling. We deal
with Held Against Will incidents on a case by case basis. There
are limits to what the UK can do to help resolve them, particularly
in cases involving minors.
Security Co-operation Activity
246. There are strong historical and personal links between
the UK and Pakistani Armed Forces. These links are maintained
through regular liaison visits, bilateral meetings of senior officers,
and a personnel exchange programme. Routine defence relations
activity with Pakistan also includes the provision of funded courses,
including places at the Royal College of Defence Studies and the
Advanced Command and Staff Course.
247. As part of our wider programme of defence engagement,
the UK is working to build the capacity of the Pakistani Army
to conduct effective operations in Pakistan's north-western border
areas. The UK continues to support the development of border co-operation
centres designed to promote co-ordinated operational planning
between ISAF and the Afghan and Pakistani security forces. Pakistan
remains a top priority for the MOD.
Military support during floods
248. The UK has responded to Pakistan's floods by providing
urgent lifesaving aid to those affected. The UK military has contributed
to this effort. At DFID's request, the RAF has provided five aid
flights, using both C17 - the UK's largest transport aircraft
- and C130 Hercules planes to bring in essential items such as
tents and shelter kits. The MOD has also supplied a bridge which
will replace one destroyed by the floods.
249. The people of Pakistan bear a heavy burden of terrorism
- in 2009 over 3,000 were killed and a further 7,000 injured as
a result of terrorist activity. Terrorist activity emanating from
within Pakistan also poses a substantial threat to UK national
security, to UK troops and objectives in Afghanistan, and to the
Pakistani state itself. Reducing the threat emanating from within
Pakistan is a top foreign policy priority. In our engagement with
Pakistan we consistently maintain that the presence of militant
and terrorist groups poses a grave threat to the Pakistani state
as well as to the stability and security of the region and beyond.
The UK continues to urge Pakistan to dismantle all militant and
terrorist groups operating on, and from, Pakistani soil and we
are committed to working with Pakistan to enhance its capacity
to focus on and tackle these threats.
250. We have a duty to the British public to ensure that no
country is used as a base to launch terrorist attacks, either
at the UK or our interests overseas. It is essential, therefore,
to address not just the symptoms of violent extremism but also
its causes. High levels of radicalisation and extremism in Pakistan
provide the breeding ground for terrorist activity.
251. The most serious international terrorist threat to the
UK continues to come from al-Qaeda core and associated militants,
located in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
According to open source reports several al-Qaeda senior figures
have been killed by missile strikes in FATA. In addition, Pakistani
military action against militants in the Pakistan-Afghanistan
border areas has weakened violent extremist groups there and has
also put al-Qaeda under increasing pressure. But the threat from
al-Qaeda and associated militants is still very real. Al-Qaeda
also continue to seek to inspire and direct other groups, networks
and individuals to attack the West. The threat to the UK and UK
interests is increasingly diverse, including from groups that
have associated themselves with al-Qaeda such as the Pakistani
252. The UK recognises the sacrifices Pakistan has made in
the fight against militancy and we welcome the increased responsibility
Pakistan is taking to tackle violent extremism within its borders.
Both Pakistan and the UK have benefitted from action that Pakistan
has taken against militants, including through the operations
that the Pakistan military has conducted in the border areas.
It is vital that we continue to work closely with the Pakistani
Government to reduce the threat posed to both our countries by
253. We are forging a strategic partnership with the Government
of Pakistan on counter-terrorism. Our intensive diplomatic efforts,
bilaterally, multilaterally, and in concert with key partners
such as the US, are complemented by a comprehensive programme
of counter-terrorism assistance to Pakistan. This involves:
- (a) high level diplomatic engagement with the key players
within the Pakistani establishment and across the political spectrum;
- (b) operational co-operation, ensuring that we are working
together effectively to disrupt terrorists and bring them to justice;
- (c) building key Pakistani capabilities (e.g. military,
police, judicial) through training, capacity building and provision
- (d) working with the Pakistani Government, media, civil
society and others to build resilience to violent extremism and
tackle the grievances that drive radicalisation;
- (e) deepening our understanding of the links between counter-radicalisation
in Pakistan and in Pakistani communities in the UK; and
- (f) supporting the development of strong institutions
and machinery of Government.
254. Bilateral counter-terrorism co-operation between the
UK and Pakistan is an important part of the UK-Pakistan Strategic
Dialogue. Counter-terrorism was a central element in the recent
Joint Statement delivered by the Prime Minister and President
Zardari in August 2010.
255. PREVENT, which aims to stop people becoming terrorists
or supporting violent extremists, is one of the four components
of the Government's counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) and forms
an important part of the UK's counter-terrorism efforts in Pakistan.
We continue to work with the media, civil society and others to
build resilience to violent extremism and tackle radicalisation.
We are also trying to undermine extremist ideology and disrupt
activity which has an impact on the radicalisation of Muslims
in the UK.
256. Pakistan's border areas with Afghanistan provide ungoverned
space from which al-Qaeda and other militant and organised crime
groups operate. Governance and security are weak, particularly
in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The populations
of the border areas are among the poorest in Pakistan, with the
lowest literacy rates and limited access to public services. This
allows space for radicalisation and the Taliban has used violence,
intimidation and terror to gain control over civilian populations
in areas of north-west Pakistan. Pakistan's commitment to tackling
this threat is important both for regional stability and the security
of the UK, in denying operational space to both domestic and international
257. We welcome the Pakistan military's efforts to tackle
militancy in tribal border areas. Pakistan has a vital interest
in rooting out violent extremism. As well as threatening the Pakistani
state and people, militant and terrorist groups threaten regional
stability and the security of the UK. In May 2009, Pakistani military
action succeeded in pushing the Taliban back from areas close
to Islamabad, including the Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkwha
(formerly North West Frontier Province). The Pakistan Army has
also taken the fight to the militants in their traditional heartlands
through a major ground offensive in FATA in October 2009. Military
operations of varying scope began in South Waziristan and have
continued across the FATA tribal agencies. This has helped reduce
the Taliban's ability to operate in FATA. The UK welcomes this
action but urges Pakistan to take care to minimise impacts on
the civilian population and meet its humanitarian obligations.
Humanitarian response to the military conflict in KP and FATA
258. The UK remains concerned about the estimated 1.3 million
people who are still displaced following the recent fighting in
the border regions. Over one million people have now returned.
Returns should be informed, voluntary and conducted in safety
and dignity, in line with agreed international principles. The
UK and its international partners will continue to lobby the Government
of Pakistan and the humanitarian community to uphold these principles.
Our humanitarian support responding to this crisis has provided
protection and humanitarian assistance to 800,000 people; supplied
food aid for up to 1.4 million people, as well as healthcare,
education, and water and sanitation; given up to 2 million people
short-term recovery assistance, including providing seeds, tools
and livestock to rebuild their livelihoods; and provided protection
services including access to healthcare and education for vulnerable
people including women and children. This funding now stands at
£54.5 million since September 2008. The UK has also supported
an enterprise credit guarantee scheme following the World Bank
and Asian Development Bank's Damage Needs Assessment for border
areas affected by the conflict. This scheme will rebuild 26,000
259. Lasting peace and security in the region will require
military gains to be followed with reconstruction, development
and commitment to a long-term political strategy for improving
governance, justice and services and addressing the roots of militancy.
The UK has pressed Pakistan to adopt a comprehensive approach
to stabilisation in the border areas, covering development, governance
and security. The UK welcomes President Zardari's August 2009
announcement of political reform in the FATA as a positive step
towards addressing these issues. But one year on, FATA reform
has yet to be implemented. The UK continues to urge the Government
of Pakistan to make progress on this issue. The key elements of
the proposed reforms are: the extension of the political parties
act to the FATA; administrative reforms to better audit funds
received and disbursed by Political Agents (who are appointed
by the President); and a series of judicial reforms including
the creation of a FATA appeals tribunal and reform of the Frontier
UK Approach to Border Areas
260. The UK's approach to the areas bordering Afghanistan
requires working closely together, combining both diplomatic and
development interventions. Political dialogue with the Government
of Pakistan and the international community is led by the FCO
through the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. The UK is working
with the Government of Pakistan and other donors, to ensure that
the analysis from a recent International Financial Institutions-led
post crisis needs assessment (PCNA) in the areas bordering Afghanistan
is translated into action.
261. DFID's support to Pakistan's border areas focuses on
service delivery and reducing grievances that lead to insecurity
and instability. Within this, DFID is providing support to the
federal and provincial governments to extend the reach of the
state in those areas of the country bordering Afghanistan - Khyber
Pakhtunkwha, Balochistan and FATA. For example, DFID support contributed
to government deployment of 22,000 Lady Health Workers in FATA,
KP and Balochistan; and training of community midwives in addition
to 8,270 rural water supply and sanitation schemes implemented
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reaching 1.6 million people.
Post Crisis Needs Assessment (PCNA) and Multi-Donor Trust Fund
for KP, FATA and Balochistan
262. In June 2009, the Government of Pakistan asked the World
Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN and EC to lead a PCNA to identify
the underlying drivers of conflict in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.
This will lead to a programme of action to tackle these drivers.
DFID has supported the PCNA as well as a newly established World
Bank-led Multi Donor Trust Fund for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan
and FATA. This Trust Fund will respond to the analysis in the
PCNA and other government strategies and will provide support
for the restoration of basic services, livelihoods, improved justice,
governance reforms and crisis recovery in the conflict affected
areas. Following the recent flooding, the Trust Fund's remit has
been expanded to include reconstruction needs resulting from
the floods. DFID has committed £30 million to the Trust Fund.
263. Balochistan is Pakistan's largest province and shares
a porous, 1,000 kilometre border with Afghanistan. This has enabled
Taliban and criminal networks to exploit ineffective controls
in order to move militants, weapons and narcotics across the border.
Combined with a separatist movement, this instability in Balochistan
impacts on UK objectives for regional stability, counter-terrorism
264. We recognise that the Government of Pakistan faces a
difficult law and order situation in Balochistan, but we continue
to urge that any military action in the region should take place
within the parameters of international law.
265. The UK welcomes Prime Minister Gilani's announcement
of 24 November 2009, for a comprehensive package of economic and
development reforms to help support a political settlement in
Balochistan. Implementation of these reforms has been slow. Through
Conflict Pool project activity, we are encouraging support for
political reform and stability in Balochistan. The recently-established
Multi-Donor Trust Fund will extend its support for Balochistan
to facilitate recovery from conflict and, more recently, the recovery
in flood-affected areas. Balochistan also benefits from DFID's
national programmes, such as health.
266. Cyclone Phet affected Balochistan in early June 2010.
There were no casualties. The provincial government provided a
relief package to help 150,000 people who were displaced by the
effects of the cyclone.
267. Pakistan and Iran have been in negotiations over a pipeline
to carry natural gas from Iran through Balochistan and into Karachi.
This was agreed on 14 June 2010 and Iran will now construct the
pipeline to carry 21 million cubic metres of gas to Pakistan daily.
Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT)
268. Pakistan is outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The
UK, in co-operation with international partners, continues to
encourage Pakistan to engage constructively on the issue of nuclear
disarmament. We believe that a global ban on the production of
fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive
devices is vital to international non-proliferation and disarmament
269. In 2009, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva (CD)
agreed, by consensus, a Programme of Work which included the start
of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT). Pakistan
then blocked the start of work, citing regional security concerns,
and resisted UK and US attempts at engagement. Continued blockage
in 2010 led the UN Secretary General to call a High-Level Meeting
on 24 September 2010 to focus attention on and support the CD
with a view to it returning to work. The Pakistani delegation,
under pressure from within the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), did
not speak. The UK continues to try and impress on Pakistan that
its concerns can be addressed during negotiations and we reinforce
this message through the EU.
270. We welcome the constructive role that Pakistan played
at the Washington Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010. It will
be important that all participants translate Summit principles,
outlined in the Communiqué, into concrete action in the
form of a Work Plan.
271. The UK Government currently assesses that there is no
reason to believe that Pakistan's nuclear technology is likely
to fall into the hands of violent extremists. The Government of
Pakistan is well aware that the security of its nuclear technology
is of vital importance. Pakistan continues to work towards ensuring
internationally recognised controls of its weapons and nuclear
materials, in line with global momentum towards making nuclear
security a cornerstone of the international security apparatus.
272. In May 2009, Pakistan's Strategic Export Control Division
(SECDiv) issued new licensing and enforcement regulations to further
tighten the export of nuclear technologies, material, and equipment.
273. The priorities for the UK's development programme in
Pakistan, which is administered by the Department for International
Development, are currently to support accountable and effective
governance, and support Pakistan to deliver macro-economic stability,
growth, jobs and services. Key results to date include: helping
to increase the number of six to nine year-olds in school from
42% to 55% since 2001; supporting health services that have prevented
340,000 children and 19,000 maternal deaths since 2003; supporting
the creation of 300,000 new jobs in Punjab and helping to change
the government budget process in Pakistan so that it now links
budgets to outputs.
274. Through DFID we are providing £665 million (89 billion
rupees) in development assistance to Pakistan (2009-13) as part
of a ten-year Development Partnership Arrangement signed in 2006.
The arrangement affirms the long-term development partnership
between the Government of Pakistan and the UK. It sets out shared
and individual commitments and provides a transparent framework
for mutual accountability for implementation of the partnership.
The programme is currently undergoing a strategy review and all
the country programmes in DFID are being assessed within the Bilateral
Aid Review. The focus of the programme may therefore change in
the near future. The need for support and reconstruction following
the recent floods will be a particular challenge. The FCO supports
DFID's work on governance through political engagement and its
own project spend, which is closely aligned with DFID's objectives.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
275. Pakistan has made some progress against development goals,
for example poverty reduced from 34% of the population below the
line in 2001-02 to 22% in 2006-07. But this trend is at risk from
a weakened economy and the impact of conflict and a number of
MDGs remain off-track especially in education and health. Education
indicators in Pakistan are among the worst in the world. Half
of the adult population and two-thirds of women are illiterate.
Only 55% of children are enrolled in primary school - six million
children do not go to primary school. Despite recent progress,
health indicators are also off-track. There are too many maternal
deaths (12,000 a year) and child deaths (400,000 a year). More
than nine million children are malnourished. Maternal and reproductive
health is a particular challenge.
276. The UK remains committed to supporting Pakistan to deliver
macro-economic stability, growth, jobs and services for its citizens.
Pakistan's economic potential is vast. To encourage jobs and growth,
DFID is working with the Ministry of Finance to improve its budgeting
systems, helping to promote economic stability and a greater focus
on poverty reduction. Inflation declined from 25% to 13% since
October 2008; foreign exchange reserves increased from two weeks
to four months of import cover; social sector spending has doubled
since 2006. DFID is also supporting the micro-finance sector in
Pakistan to increase its outreach from 1.2 million borrowers in
2008 to three million by 2013. The UK is also responding to a
request from Pakistan to support forming a new economic growth
strategy, which will focus on medium-term inclusive growth by
prioritising the investments in sectors with higher economic and
277. However, the need for reform is pressing. The cost of
domestic debt is particularly high, economic activity has been
damaged by power shortages, rising costs of production, and increasing
cartelisation in key markets. Pakistan's flooding disaster has
compounded the situation: around 13% of Pakistan's cropland has
been flooded, and the International Monetary Fund has lowered
its growth forecast by two percentage points, which will hit government
revenues, while needs arising from the recent flooding will place
considerable pressure on the Government to spend more.
278. While Pakistan's floods have increased the challenges
the country is facing, they also provide an opportunity for further
reform. We welcome the commitment shown by the Government of Pakistan
to tackle the economic crisis of 2008 and their progress in putting
the economy back on an even footing. Foreign exchange reserves
have stabilised at around $15 billion and the current account
deficit is now under control. We welcome the progress that Pakistan
has made under its IMF programme with the Government of Pakistan, having
passed four reviews, albeit with some exemptions. Like many other
emerging and developing economies Pakistan faces a difficult global
economic environment. Robust implementation of Pakistan's economic
policy plans as part of the IMF programme will be essential for
ensuring a swift and sustainable recovery for the Pakistan economy.
279. The challenge going forward is sustainable growth. Pakistan's
population is expected to increase by 85 million over the next
20 years and Pakistan's economy will require sustained growth
above 6% per year to accommodate new workers. Key to growth is
maintaining macroeconomic stability and, in turn, raising government
revenues. Raising revenue will require a commitment to tax reform
and to widening the tax base. The introduction of a reformed General
Sales Tax is an important early revenue raising reform. To enable
Pakistan to reap a demographic dividend from its rapidly growing
working-age population, the availability of physical and social
infrastructure will be critical. On physical infrastructure, the
priorities must be power sector reform, and water security. Education
must also be a priority.
280. DFID's past investments have helped to increase the number
of six to nine year-olds in school from 42% to 55% since 2001.
Last year, UK aid provided stipends that kept 300,000 poor girls
in school and, with the World Bank and government of Punjab, recruited
34,000 new teachers, provided further training for 300,000 others,
and provided free textbooks for 15 million students.
281. The UK welcomes the Government of Pakistan's support
for education reform. We are providing £250 million to support
education over five years. The focus is to increase enrolment,
improve standards and provide young people with the skills they
need to get jobs. By 2013, our support will help 5 million more
children attend primary school.
282. At the federal level we are supporting the Pakistan Prime
Minister's Education Task Force, co-chaired by Sir Michael Barber,
former head of the Number 10 Delivery Unit, and Shahnaz Wazir
Ali, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Gilani on the social
sectors, to help drive implementation of the new National Education
Policy. It will focus on getting the basics of structure and accountability
into the system - from teacher training to school management.
We continue to support the national assessment of learning outcomes
and we are working closely with the Government of Pakistan on
a variety of community projects and through provincial-level support
to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
283. In health, DFID helped increase the child immunisation
rate from 53% in 2002 to 73% in 2008, and helped ensure 340,000
fewer child deaths and 19,000 fewer maternal deaths since 2003.
UK aid has trained and deployed 14,000 female health workers since
2003 and is currently training 5,700 community midwives. DFID
is investing £182 million on the health sector support programme,
polio eradication, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health.
284. Democracy and the rule of law are allies of stability
and development in Pakistan. A strong institutional framework
based on the rule of law is a necessary condition for a sustained
democratic transition in Pakistan. BHC Islamabad has established
a cross-departmental working group to focus on rule of law issues.
We are currently considering how we can support future rule of
law programme activity in Pakistan, in line with the recommendations
of the NSC-led review of the UK's policy on Pakistan. DFID and
FCO work closely together on a number of programmes and projects,
both with the Government and civil society, and at community level
to embed democracy from federal to district level. These focus
on addressing weak existing systems, empowering marginalised groups
and encouraging citizens to demand their rights from the state
with increased interaction between the two. For example, DFID's
support on gender justice and protection has helped 6,000 women
victims of violence by providing them with counselling and legal
aid. We have also helped over 43,000 people - of whom over
half were women - participate in training and awareness raising
and capacity building work on issues such as honour killings,
legislation on Violence against Women, women's rights in marriage
and under-age marriage.
285. Pakistan is facing a huge crisis. Twenty million people
have been directly affected by the floods (14 million critically)
and more than 1.9 million houses have been damaged or destroyed.
Over 3.2 million hectares of standing crops (16% of Pakistan's
cultivatable land) have been damaged or lost. The long-term economic
and social impact of the floods has yet to be calculated. The
Revised Floods Emergency Response Plan for Pakistan, launched
by the UN Secretary-General in New York on 17 September, is appealing
for $2 billion for relief and early recovery interventions.
286. The UK was one of the first countries to respond to Pakistan's
floods crisis. We will continue to stand by Pakistan, and help
its people affected by the floods, both during the critical humanitarian
phase and longer-term as work begins to rebuild the country. UK
aid has so far provided: twelve planes (five Royal Air Force)
carrying vital aid; emergency shelter for more than 100,000 families;
safe drinking water for millions of people; help for half a million
malnourished children and pregnant/breastfeeding women. The UK
Government has now committed a total of £134 million while
the UK public has donated a further £56 million (approximately
6.3 billion rupees) through the Disasters Emergency Committee
appeal. In addition, a £10 million (approximately 1.3
billion rupees) bridge project has been brought forward. Our support
is being provided to both the UN and NGOs directly.
Ensuring aid is well spent
287. Ensuring that aid is being used effectively and doesn't
fall into the wrong hands is essential. The UK is working in support
of the Government of Pakistan's efforts to distribute aid to all
those who need it. We closely monitor and evaluate how our funding
is used and undertake strict checks on organisations we fund to
ensure that our aid money is spent properly and delivers what
is intended. We encourage all donations by the UK's private citizens
to be made responsibly through reputable organisations.
288. The UK is also committed to supporting the Government
of Pakistan in mobilising the international response to the ongoing
flood disaster in Pakistan. We are lobbying international partners
to provide Pakistan with humanitarian relief as well as long-term
support to meet the challenges Pakistan faces. A series of international
meetings through the autumn will pave the way towards a Pakistan
Development Forum in Islamabad in November, which will be a key
opportunity for donors and the Government of Pakistan to come
together and discuss the international response and domestic reform
agenda. Reconstruction efforts need to be focused on the long-term;
on economic recovery, livelihoods and on the priorities that will
be identified in the forthcoming Damage Needs Assessment, led
by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, on behalf of the
Government of Pakistan.
289. We believe that the EU can play a leading role in helping
Pakistan recover. In advance of September's European Council we
led the way in urging EU partners to agree a package of short
and medium-term measures to underpin Pakistan's recovery. Following
intensive lobbying - including by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime
Minister, and Foreign Secretary - the European Council announced
on 16 September a substantial package of immediate and longer-term
support for Pakistan. A core component of the support was a commitment
to grant exclusively to Pakistan increased market access in the
EU "through the immediate and time limited reduction of duties
on key imports from Pakistan" and a commitment to look favourably
to Pakistan's eligibility for GSP+ for 2014.
290. The UK has also been clear that a situation that requires
an exceptional response from donors also requires an exceptional
response from the Government of Pakistan. This includes commitment
to the agreed long-term reform agenda focused on delivering better
and effective services to its citizens. The reforms we are looking
for progress on include: reducing inefficient spending by Government
(in particular subsidies to public enterprises); raising additional
revenues (through an enhanced Government Sales Tax) and widening
the tax net (currently a small proportion of Pakistan's population
pays income tax); and to "make markets work" by deregulating
markets, and tackling commodity market cartels. These reforms
will require sustained commitment from the Government of Pakistan;
and the UK stands ready to help Pakistan to deliver better services
for its citizens.
291. Although the Government of Pakistan has made some progress
on the human rights situation, serious concerns remain and we
continue to urge the Government to fully guarantee the fundamental
rights of all Pakistani citizens, as laid out in the Pakistani
292. The UK engages with Pakistan on human rights in a variety
of fora. We have a regular human rights dialogue with the Government
of Pakistan alongside our EU partners, in which we raise particular
human rights concerns. These concern several priority issues including:
strengthening safeguards to protect those given the death penalty;
violence against women, which is particularly high in Pakistan;
the need for stronger monitoring mechanisms including a National
Human Rights Commission; and the ongoing persecution of religious
minorities, and the misuse of the blasphemy legislation that allows
this to happen. We also raise human rights at a senior level on
regular occasions, particularly after specific acts of persecution,
such as the killings of Christians in Punjab in 2009 or the attacks
on the Ahmadiyyah Mosques in Lahore in May 2010.
293. The UK remains concerned about media reports of extra-judicial
killings by the Pakistani security forces. We have raised the
importance of proper investigation of these claims with senior
military and government figures. We believe that in fighting terrorism
it is vital also to maintain human rights and the rule of law.
294. In June 2010, President Zardari announced that he had
signed the instrument of ratification for the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against
Torture (CAT), which allows the ratification of these two human
rights agreements. This is a significant step forward, since these
agreements were originally signed by Pakistan more than two decades
ago. Their ratification is also a key criteria in Pakistan being
eligible for enhanced trade access with the EU under the GSP+
regime. However, in signing the instruments Pakistan introduced
a large number of reservations, which serve to reduce the effectiveness
of the instruments' ratification. The EU is in the process of
registering its concerns with the Government of Pakistan over
the number and extent of these reservations. To ensure Pakistan
is working within the global framework on human rights, we strongly
encourage the Government of Pakistan to remove its extensive reservations
against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
and the Convention Against Torture.
295. The vast majority of parliamentary and public correspondence
on Pakistan is concerned with human rights. In 2010, the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office has received 227 letters from MPs, and
over a thousand letters from members of the public, most on human
rights. We also regularly receive Parliamentary Questions on this
subject. The APPG on human rights has visited Pakistan in the
last twelve months.
296. Pakistan was listed as a country of concern in the 2009
FCO Human Rights Report and ranks low on many credible global
indexes which look at specific human rights.
297. Afghanistan is the source of over 90% of the world opium
market. This trade, which has a logistical hub in Pakistan, has
recognised financial and logistical links with the Afghan insurgency
- UNODC estimates that the Afghan drugs trade provides the insurgency
with around $100 million per annum. It is recognised that a national
problem requires a regional answer.
298. Pakistan is a significant consumer, transhipment point and
operating base for the Afghan drugs trade and thus an important
player in the regional solution to the drug trade. There are approximately
five million drug users in Pakistan. Furthermore, a significant
proportion of heroin found on the UK streets (originating predominantly
from Afghan opiates) is trafficked to the UK via Pakistan. Countering
the threat from criminal groups engaged in the narcotics trade
and breaking the link with insurgent groups is important to UK
objectives for stability in South Asia, including in Pakistan
and Afghanistan. It will also help reduce the impact on UK citizens
of opiates trafficked via Pakistan. The porous Afghanistan-Pakistan
border, as well as Pakistan's limited historical engagement on
counter-narcotics issues, has impinged on Afghan and ISAF efforts
to contain the drugs trade and divide it from the insurgency,
by providing the drugs trade with an operating base.
299. We welcome the Government of Pakistan's recent efforts
to address the problem of the drugs trade, including the adoption
of a new counter-narcotics strategy and "Master Plan".
The UK will continue to work regionally, with partners, to tackle
the problems caused by the drugs trade and to reduce the impact
on UK citizens from the upstream heroin trade. In recognition
of Pakistan's key role in tackling the regional drugs trade, the
UK is seeking to support the implementation of the Master Plan,
including by raising the profile of Pakistan's CN efforts with
the wider international donor community.
300. India and Pakistan are longstanding and important friends
of the UK. We have many significant links to both countries through
Indian and Pakistani Diaspora communities living in the UK. We
have strong bilateral relations with both countries. Pakistan's
relationship with nuclear neighbour India is important for stability
in the region. We want Pakistan to play a constructive role in
the region, at peace with her neighbours, in line with the UK's
long-term interests in stability and security in South Asia.
301. India and Pakistan used to meet regularly though the
Composite Dialogue, which provided for formal political dialogue
on a range of issues including regional security. Following the
Mumbai attacks of 2008, dialogue between both countries was suspended.
India made it clear that it needed to see firm Pakistani action
against those responsible for Mumbai - the terrorist network LeT
(Lashkar-e-Tayyiba) - as a pre-condition for dialogue. The UK
has strongly encouraged Pakistan's commitment to bring the perpetrators
of the Mumbai attacks to justice.
302. Early this year, Indian Prime Minister Singh signalled
his desire to re-engage with Pakistan. This led to a meeting between
Foreign Secretaries (PUS equivalent) in February 2010, and a meeting
between Prime Ministers Singh and Gilani in April 2010. A significant
outcome from the meeting between Foreign Secretaries was the agreement
that both sides would identify measures to build confidence. Both
Prime Ministers agreed to take forward political dialogue to restore
a climate of trust and confidence to pave the way for substantive
dialogue. The Pakistani military has publicly said that it supports
the diplomatic engagement.
303. In July 2010, Foreign Ministers Krishna and Qureshi met
to explore confidence building measures. But according to media
reports, this meeting failed to deliver substantial progress.
The media reported Pakistan wanted to see clear timelines for
restoring dialogue on all issues without first acceding to Indian
requests for prosecution of those responsible for the Mumbai attacks.
However, we understand both sides are committed to maintaining
304. We welcome the renewed engagement between India and Pakistan.
Ultimately, the relationship between India and Pakistan is one
that they themselves will need to build. We recognise that India
and Pakistan are sensitive to third party involvement in their
bilateral relationship. The UK continues to help broaden the consensus
for rapprochement through initiatives supported by the cross-departmental
(FCO, MOD, DFID) Conflict Pool. Our project activity includes
support for schools and campaign against forced marriage in Pakistan-administered
Kashmir, and support for youth development initiatives in Indian-administered
Kashmir. We also support the strengthening of civil society networks
and media capacity-building to support peace initiatives on both
sides of the Line of Control. The British Council has also expanded
its operation in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and DFID met the
immediate needs of 175,000 homeless people, constructed 34 schools
and provided 50 bailey-type bridges for a total of £137 million
in response to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
305. We also work in both Pakistani Administered and Indian
Administered Kashmir. Our project activity includes support for
schools and a campaign against forced marriage in Pakistan-administered
Kashmir, and support for youth development initiatives in Indian-administered
Kashmir. We also support the strengthening of civil society networks
and media capacity-building to support peace initiatives on both
sides of the Line of Control. The British Council has also expanded
its operation in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and DFID has provided
£137 million for emergency support and reconstruction since
the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
306. Kashmir remains an extremely sensitive political issue
for both India and Pakistan. The longstanding position of the
UK is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution
to the situation in Kashmir, one which takes into account the
wishes of the Kashmiri people. It is not for the UK to prescribe
a solution or to mediate in finding one. We welcome the positive
steps being taken by Pakistan and India to build trust and confidence.
307. The Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) was established
in September 2008 following a UK/US initiative. It was designed
to bring together Pakistan's traditional allies (such as China
and Saudi Arabia) and western supporters to provide political
and practical support at a time when the country faced the twin
challenges of violent extremism and a collapsing economy. The
group aims to galvanise international support to help Pakistan's
Government tackle the serious development, security and economic
problems it faces. It is not a donor group, but works in strategic
partnership with the Government of Pakistan, currently focusing
on the following areas: security; development; energy; institution
building, trade and finance. FODP meetings are chaired by the
Government of Pakistan.
308. The current members of the FODP are: UK; US; Japan; China;
Saudi Arabia; UAE; Australia; Canada; Iran; France; Germany; Spain;
Netherlands; Denmark; Italy; Norway; Sweden; Turkey; Republic
of Korea. The following international institutions have observer
status: EU (Presidency and Commission); ADB; Islamic Development
Bank; UN; and the World Bank.
309. Aside from the inaugural meeting, the FODP has met twice
at ministerial level (Tokyo and Istanbul) and once at summit level
- on 24 September 2009 in the margins of the United Nations General
Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Progress on commitments from New
York, including on border areas stabilisation, has been mixed.
We need active engagement from the Government of Pakistan in order
to accelerate progress.
September 2009 Summit
310. Key outcomes of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Summit
held on 24 September 2009 in New York, and co-chaired by then
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Zardari and President Obama,
- Endorsement of a comprehensive reconstruction and stabilisation
strategy for the Malakand district. This covers the Swat area
in which much of Pakistan's recent military actions against the
Pakistani Taliban took place.
- A commitment from the Government of Pakistan, with FODP support,
to quickly develop and implement an integrated and comprehensive
approach to address issues of security and development in FATA.
- Establishment of a Multi Donor Trust Fund for the border areas
to provide a co-ordinated financing mechanism for donor support
of areas affected by terrorism, militancy, and extremism.
- FODP members agreed to support Pakistan's efforts in formulating
a sustainable, integrated energy plan. The Asian Development Bank
will help to mobilise the Friends for energy sector assistance
and report at the next ministerial meeting of the Friends.
15 October Ministerial meeting
311. The next Ministerial will be hosted by the EU in Brussels
on 15 October. Foreign Minister Qureshi is due to attend. The
focus of this meeting will be to ensure a strong commitment of
political support to Pakistan following the floods, with substantive
discussions on: the Post Crisis Needs Assessment (which looks
at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas); institution-building
in areas where governance and delivery of services are of particular
concern; and energy. Ongoing shortfalls in power production pose
a significant threat to political and economic stability in Pakistan.
The FODP's Energy Task Force steering committee has approved a
work programme and outline for the task force. The task force
report will include: (i) diagnosis (ii) options for solutions
(iii) recommendations. The latter will probably include recommendations
to the Government for structural reform and to FODP members for
more investment in the sector.
312. The EU is a significant player in Pakistan. It is already
the largest trading partner, one of the largest investors, and
enjoys a relationship with Pakistan that covers CT, governance,
humanitarian aid and development. The UK wants to see a deepening
and more visible EU-Pakistan relationship.
313. The EU-Pakistan Summits in 2010 and 2009 have helped
to enhance the EU's commitment to Pakistan. The two key deliverables
from the June 2010 Summit were a 50% increase in EU funding from
50 million to 75 million (annually from 2011-13) and
a commitment to draw up a five-year engagement plan after the
Summit. Other outcomes included:
- Agreement to regular meetings between the EU High Representative
for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Pakistan's Foreign
- EU support for security capacity building through National
Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA).
- Further work towards trade liberalisation, including looking
at how new beneficiaries, including Pakistan, might be admitted
to the EU's GSP+.
- Increased co-operation over trade-related capacity building,
including an increased EU funding for trade related technical
314. Pakistan's main aspiration from the EU is for agreement
on significant trade concessions. The UK has continued to make
the case for the EU to develop a trade as well as an aid relationship
with Pakistan, especially in light of the floods disaster. We
have repeatedly pressed both the Commission and Member States
to revisit the issue of granting early GSP+ access for Pakistan
or other multilateral trade concessions.
315. On 16 September 2010, following intensive diplomatic
efforts by the UK and other like-minded Member States, the European
Council announced a substantial package of immediate and longer-term
support for Pakistan. A core component of the support was a commitment
to grant exclusively to Pakistan increased market access in the
EU "through the immediate and time limited reduction of duties
on key imports from Pakistan" and a commitment to look favourably
to Pakistan's eligibility for GSP+ for 2014. The UK will continue
to work with EU partners, the WTO and the Government of Pakistan
to ensure early delivery of these commitments, and on the agreement
of a five-year EU-Pakistan Engagement Plan to ensure a long-term,
deeper and more strategic relationship between the two partners.
316. The cross-Whitehall Strategic Communications Strategy
for Pakistan lays out the UK Government's approach to strategic
communications for Pakistan. The strategy is primarily designed
to build support for the UK and UK policies - both in the UK and
Pakistan - in order to help us deliver UK objectives. The strategy
is being delivered through sustained high-level UK government
engagement with the Pakistan Government and military, public diplomacy
and outreach, parliamentary engagement, targeted messaging through
a wide range of media channels, and co-ordination with key partners.
Communication of a broader narrative designed to promote the UK's
long-term commitment to and historical friendship with Pakistan
is a key element of this approach.
317. In Pakistan, communications activity in support of UK
objectives is delivered jointly by the cross-departmental team
based at the British High Commission in Islamabad and the British
Council. Communications activity includes work focused on reducing
the terrorist threat to the UK; encouraging Pakistan to consolidate
democracy; generating closer relationships between the UK and
Pakistan including through educational links; helping UK business
to grow in Pakistan; building regional stability; discouraging
illegal migration to the UK and providing advice and assistance
to those at risk of forced marriage. We are also using strategic
communications to improve understanding of and support for UK
visa arrangements and the significant UK/Pakistan trade relationship.
We work with the media, civil society, charities, business,
NGOs, and the Government of Pakistan to deliver these objectives.
318. Our approach to strategic communications places specific
focus on engagement with Parliament. In the UK, we actively seek
engagement with All Party Parliamentary Groups, and promote engagement
with MPs and Lords with an interest in Pakistan. We are working
to build a strengthened bilateral relationship between the UK
and Pakistan Parliaments to facilitate the sharing of best practice
and to improve our ability to engage and influence key Parliamentarians
in Pakistan. In country, we have begun to focus on building the
legislative capacity of key agents for change within the Pakistan
Parliament and we will increase activity in this area of our bilateral
work in the months ahead. Internationally, we are seeking to gain
better leverage over international community resources in support
of strengthened parliamentary capacity.
319. We place significant emphasis on the importance of co-ordinating
communications activity across government. This is being pursued
through the framework of the Pakistan Information Strategy Group
(PISG) which meets regularly to discuss ongoing and planned government
communications activity both in the UK and Pakistan. The PISG
is also working to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our
320. Our communications activity crosses the various strands
of UK policy. Through the PREVENT programme overseas, the FCO
is leading efforts to reduce the threat from violent extremism
in Pakistan and tackle radicalisation, in co-ordination with the
Government of Pakistan, the media, and civil society. Project
work is focused on those communities which have strong ties to
the Pakistani diaspora in the UK. The Research, Information and
Communications Unit (RICU) is also working to build the Government
of Pakistan's strategic communications capacity from within the
framework of the Joint Working Group (JWG), and is helping to
build the capacity of civil society to promote informed debate
about the nature of terrorism.
321. This is complemented by the British Council's work to
build trust between the UK and Pakistan and strengthen the consensus
against extremism by offering opportunities to young people. It
does this through school, vocational college and university partnerships
between the UK and Pakistan, through developing youth leadership
in the community, by improving English language teaching in schools
and by offering young people access to high quality educational
opportunities in the form of UK qualifications and information
about study in the UK. With PREVENT funding it has extended three
of its core programmes into Mirpur Division, in which 70% of Pakistani
Diaspora in the UK find their heritage communities. New networks
in Pakistan and amongst Pakistani Diaspora communities in the
UK are helping to break down barriers between communities in both
322. Through DFID, the British Government is using strategic
communications to help Pakistan to stimulate progress towards
the Millennium Development Goals, to raise awareness and understanding
of the UK's role in reducing extreme poverty and in providing
emergency humanitarian assistance, to improve the quality of and
access to education, to increase popular awareness of and demands
for basic services and rights, and to help engage Diaspora communities
through promoting UKaid and its impact.
323. We also pursue a wide range of communications activities
to support other objectives. For example, we work to build the
capacity of young people and the media as vehicles for socio-economic
change and to facilitate civil society dialogue and debate on
the issue of human rights, governance and economic development.
We have also trained young Pakistani filmmakers and journalists
to build a culture of more investigative reporting into the issues
affecting Pakistan's development. Our Chevening scholarships provide
valuable people-to-people exchanges between the UK and Pakistan,
as well as developing the talent of young Pakistanis in government,
media and trade sectors.
6 October 2010
|ABIF||Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund
|ACT||Afghanistan Communications Team
|ADB||Asia Development Bank
|AGIS||Afghan Government Information Service
|AKEU||Anti Kidnap and Extortion Unit
|ANA||Afghan National Army
|ANCOP||Afghan National Civil Order Police
|ANDS||Afghanistan National Development Strategy
|ANP||Afghan National Police
|ANSF||Afghan National Security Forces
|APBRPI||Afghanistan Pakistan Border Region Prosperity Initiative
|APPG||All Party Parliamentary Group Afghanistan
|APTTA||Afghanistan Pakistan Trade Transit Agreement
|ARTF||Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund
|ASNF||Afghan Special Narcotics Force
|ASOP||Afghan Social Outreach Programme
|BBCWST||British Broadcasting Company World Service Trust
|BHC||British High Commission
|BPHS||Basic Package of Health Services
|CARs||Central Asia Republics
|CARD-F||Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Facility
|CAREC||Central Asia/Regional Economic Co-operation
|CJTF||Criminal Justice Task Force
|CIMIC||Civil Military Co-operation
|CNPA||Counter-Narcotics Police Afghanistan
|COMISAF||Commander of ISAF
|CONTEST||Counter Terrorism Strategy
|CRC||Centre for Regional Co-operation
|DCF||Defence Co-operation Fund
|DCI||Development Co-operation Initiative
|DFID||Department for International Development
|DOT||Detention Oversight Team
|DRC||District Reintegration Committee
|ECO||Economic Co-operation Organisation
|EITI||Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
|EUPOL||EU Police Mission to Afghanistan
|EURA||EU Readmission Agreement
|EUSR||EU Special Representative
|FATA||Federally Administered Tribal Areas
|FCO||Foreign & Commonwealth Office
|FDD||Focused District Development
|FMCT||Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty
|FOB||Forward Operating Bases
|FODP||Friends of Democratic Pakistan
|FZP||Food Zone Programme
|G8||The Group of Eight (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, US, Canada and Russia)
|GDP||Gross Domestic Product
|GMIC||Government Media and Information Centre
|GNRD||Good Neighbourly Relations Declaration
|GoP||Government of Pakistan
|GPI||Good Performers Initiative
|GSP||Generalised System of Preference
|HAW||Held Against Will
|HMRC||HM Revenue and Customs
|IAEA||International Atomic Energy Agency
|IDB||Islamic Development Bank
|IEC||Independent Election Commission
|IED||Improvised Explosive Device
|IFES||International Foundation for Electoral Systems
|IFIs||International Financial Institutions
|IMF||International Monetary Fund
|ISAF||International Security Assistance Force
|JCMB||Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board
|JWG||Joint Working Group
|MAGTF||US Marine Air Ground Taskforce
|MDG||Millennium Development Goal
|MFA||Ministry of Foreign Affairs
|MOD||Ministry of Defence
|MSST||Military Stabilisation Support Team
|NATO||North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
|NDCS||National Drug Control Strategy
|NDS||National Directorate of Security
|NSC||National Security Council
|NSP||National Solidarity Programme
|NTM-A||NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan
|OMLT||Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams
|OSCE||Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
|PBM||Projecting British Muslims
|PCNA||Post Crisis Needs Assessment
|PFM||Public Financial Management
|PISG||Pakistan Information Strategy Group
|PML (N)||Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League
|PPP||Pakistan People's Party
|PREVENT||Prevent is one of the four strands of the Government's counter-terrorism strategy. Its aim is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremists.
|PRT||Provincial Reconstruction Team
|RICU||Research, Information and Communications Unit
|RECCA||Regional Economic Co-operation Conference on Afghanistan
|SAARC||South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation
|SCO||Shanghai Co-operation Organisation
|SCR||Senior Civilian Representative
|SECDiv||Strategic Export Control Division
|SEED||Supporting Employment and Enterprise Development
|SMEs||Small and Medium Enterprises
|SOCA||Serious Organised Crime Agency
|STABADs||Civilian Stabilisation Advisers
|TFH||Task Force Helmand
|TTT||Train the Trainer (EUPol Certificate)
|TVET||Technical and Vocational Education and Training
|UKTI||UK Trade and Investment
|UKBA||UK Border Agency
|UN SRSG||Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General
|UNAMA||United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
|UNDP ELECT||United Nations Development Programme Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow
|UNICEF||United Nations Childrens Fund
|UNIFEM||United Nations Development Fund for Women
|UNODC||United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
|UNSCR||United Nations Security Council Resolution
|WTO||World Trade Organisation
ISAF TROOP CONTRIBUTIONS
The Joint Monitoring and Co-ordination Board (JCMB) was constituted
in 2006 for five years to give overall strategic co-ordination
of international efforts in Afghanistan. It convenes meetings
at least four times a year and consists of seven representatives
of the Afghan Government and 21 representatives of the international
2008 World Bank Afghanistan Investment Climate Survey Back
The Government may revise the target downward in an exercise to
revise its bankable programmes and associated budgets and targets
by the end of the year. Back
The FCO's memorandum of evidence for the Foreign Affairs Committee's
inquiry "Global Security: Afghanistan and Pakistan"
stated that six million children were enrolled in school. The
current figure quoted in the text here is a measure of those children
who actually attend school on a regular basis, not just those
Source - BBC Monitoring, Media Environment Guide: Afghanistan
July 2010 Back