The UK's Foreign Policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan

Written Evidence from the

Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Why Afghanistan and Pakistan Matter to UK Interests

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 goals:

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 Security Forces.

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 t otal civilian programme expenditure is expected to be in excess of £ 22 0 m illion in 2010 - 11 . This is made up of D epartment for International Development (D FID ) , Ministry of Defence ( MOD ) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office ( FCO ) funds with contributions from the jointly managed Conflict Pool .


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 UK.

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 million.

Effectiveness of UK policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan


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 forty percent 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 ministers.

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 Dialogue.

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.

Measuring success


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 [1] (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 areas.

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 violent extremism.

Lessons Learned

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.

Effective Cross-Government Co-ordination

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 Office.

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.



Security Situation

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 percent 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 USFOR-A).

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 focussed 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 School.

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.

Burden Sharing

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 for more.

UK Contribution

UK Military Contribution

66. The UK currently contributes 9,500 troops to ISAF on an enduring basis. The majority (approximately 80 percent) 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 and

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 e.g. 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.

Reintegration and Reconciliation

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 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 necessary;

· 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; and

· 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 opportunities.

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 percent 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 per cent 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 the complaints from 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 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 in Kabul.


Economic Growth

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 percent 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 percent between 2005 and 2008; [2]

· Domestic revenue generation has exceeded 20 percent 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 for corruption;

· 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 businesses;

· 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 APPTA 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 Afghans.

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 in Afghanistan.

UK Support

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 programmes:

· 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 percent in 2010 to 100 percent in 2015 and expected improvements in Public Financial Management include a 10 percent 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 percent 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 seven percent to nine percent 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 by 2013;

· 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 by 2013 [3] ;

· 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 five percent per year of the 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 percent 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 percent to 50 percent.

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 percent 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 pm achieving universal education (MDG2) and gender equality (MDG3), with 5.3 million children now attending school regularly, 37 percent of which are girls, and 25 percent 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 percent 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.

Rule of Law

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 [4] 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 in to 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 percent 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 representation.

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.

Human Rights

110. Despite the difficult security situation, some progress continues to be made on of 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 programs 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.

Institutional Support

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 one 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 civil servants.

Women’s Rights

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 Afghanistan.

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 per cent of the 1,600 attendees were female. Gender equality is enshrined in the Afghan Constitution and 25 percent 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.

Death Penalty

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 Shariah 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 school regularly [5] 37 percent 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 percent from 26 percent. The Asia Foundation’s 2009 survey of the Afghan people found that 67 percent of respondents believed the availability of children’s education to be good, and 40 percent thought that access to schools had improved over the last two years.

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 percent of districts had access to the BPHS. 24 percent of women have access to skilled antenatal care (compared to only five percent 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.

Sub-national Governance

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.

Anti-Corruption Efforts

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 percent 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 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.

Cultivation Levels

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 seven percent 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.

UK efforts

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 remain 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 on:

· 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 provincial Governors.

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 levels.


145. Helmand is the chief opium poppy-growing province of Afghanistan. Typically, Helmand has produced between 30 percent and 50 percent 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 seven percent (therefore better than the overall national picture) to 65,000 hectares – 53 percent of all poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. This builds on the 33 percent 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) in10 districts of Helmand, including farmers 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 seven percent 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 (£2.8 million).

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 in co-ordinate under these projects. The region, working with Afghan partners, needs 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.

Future Challenges

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 field.


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.

Regional Co-operation

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 (APTTA)

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 Initiative (APBRPI)

165. The UK has been working within the G8 to support initiatives focussing 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 focussed 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.

Dubai Process

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.

International Co-ordination

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.

United Nations

168. The United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA), currently under the leadership of the SRSG Staff 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 Afghanistan.

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.

European Union

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 whicalso 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 counterinsurgency strategy drawn up by the then Commander of ISAF, General Stanley McChrystal. This strategy allowed ISAF nations to coalesce around one political-military counterinsurgency 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 counterinsurgency strategy. International community messages are now broadly consistent, focussing 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 2015.

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 in Afghanistan.

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.

UK Approach

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 own security.

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 elections.

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 Independent.

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.

Parliamentary Engagement

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 C ommittees.

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.

Afghanistan Communication – Building Government and Independent Media Capacity

UK aims

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 (e.g. 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 percent of Afghanistan’s urban population has access to a television, a figure that falls to around 30 percent in rural areas . Almost 90 percent of Afghans listen to the radio at least once a month . Internet penetration is small but growing [6] . 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 government communications.

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 focussed 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 is 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 the insurgency.

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.

Future Priorities

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.



Strategic Dialogue

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 Dialogue.

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 Dialogue.

Internal Political

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 long-standing 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 Pakistan’s democracy.

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.

Electoral Reform

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 Investment

Bilateral Trade

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 percent 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 percent 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 are implemented.

Imports and Exports

UK Exports to Pakistan (source BIS, Statistics and Analysis. Most recent cover the period Jan – June 2010, provided September 2010)





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.

British-Pakistan Foundation

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 focussed 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 bilateral relationship.

Migration and Visas

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 motivations.

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 voluntarily.

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.

Managed Migration

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.

Forced Marriage

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 percent 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 this relationship.

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 forced 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 an 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.

Mistreatment / torture

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.

Death Penalty

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.

Prisoners general

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 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 Taliban (TTP).

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 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 terrorist groups.

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 of equipment;

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.

Border Areas

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 allow space for radicalisation and the Taliban has used violence, intimidation and terror to gain control over civilian populations in areas of northwest 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 terrorists.

Military Offensive

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 1 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 family businesses.

FATA Reform

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 of the President); and a series of judicial reforms including the creation of a FATA appeals tribunal and reform of the Frontier Crimes regulation.

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 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 and counter narcotics.

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 efforts.

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 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.

Nuclear Security

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 percent to 55 percent 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 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 percent of the population below the line in 2001-02 to 22 percent 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 percent of children are enrolled in primary school – 6 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 9 million children are malnourished. Maternal and reproductive health is a particular challenge.

Economic Growth

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 percent to 13 percent 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 3 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 social returns.

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 percent 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 six percent 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.

Education and Health

280. DFID past investments have helped to increase the number of six to nine year-olds in school from 42 percent to 55 percent 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 percent in 2002 to 73 percent 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.

Governance and Rule of Law

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 percent 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.

UK Response

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.

International Response

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.

Reform agenda

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.

Human Rights

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 Constitution.

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 Convention for 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 percent 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 n 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 long-standing 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 – 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 dialogue.

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. Wee 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 long-standing 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.

Friends of Democratic Pakistan

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 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, were:

· 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 percent 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 Minister.

· EU support for security capacity building through 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 assistance.

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 September 16 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.


UK Approach

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 communications campaigns.

Communications Activity

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 focussed 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 per cent 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 countries.

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 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



Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund


Afghanistan Communications Team


Asia Development Bank


Afghan Government Information Service


Anti Kidnap and Extortion Unit


Afghan National Army


Afghan National Civil Order Police


Afghanistan National Development Strategy


Afghan National Police


Afghan National Security Forces


Afghanistan Pakistan Border Region Prosperity Initiative


All Party Parliamentary Group Afghanistan


Afghanistan Pakistan Trade Transit Agreement




Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund


Afghan Special Narcotics Force


Afghan Social Outreach Programme


British Broadcasting Company World Service Trust


British High Commission


Basic Package of Health Services


Central Asia Republics


Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Facility


Central Asia/Regional Economic Co-operation


Criminal Justice Task Force


Civil Military Co-operation


Civilian M


Counter-Narcotics Police Afghanistan


Counter-Narcotics Tribunal


Commander of ISAF


Counter Terrorism Strategy


Centre for Regional Co-operation




Defence Co-operation Fund


Development Co-operation Initiative


Department for International Development


Detention Oversight Team


District Reintegration Committee


European Commission


Economic Co-operation Organisation


Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative


European Union


EU Police Mission to Afghanistan


EU Readmission Agreement


EU Special Representative


Federally Administered Tribal Areas


Foreign & Commonwealth Office


Focussed District Development


Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty


Forward Operating Bases


Friends of Democratic Pakistan


Food Zone Programme


The Group of Eight (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, US, Canada and Russia)


Gross Domestic Product


Government Media and Information Centre


Good Neighbourly Relations Declaration


Government of Pakistan


Good Performers Initiative


Generalised System of Preference


Held Against Will


HM Revenue and Customs


International Atomic Energy Agency


Islamic Development Bank


Independent Election Commission


Improvised Explosive Device


International Foundation for Electoral Systems


International Financial Institutions


International Monetary Fund


International Security Assistance Force


Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board


Joint Working Group


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


US Marine Air Ground Taskforce


Millennium Development Goal


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Ministry of Defence


Military Stabilisation Support Team


North Atlantic Treaty Organisation


Non-Commissioned Officer


National Drug Control Strategy


National Directorate of Security


Non-Government Organisation


National Security Council


National Solidarity Programme


NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan


Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams


Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe


Projecting British Muslims


Post Crisis Needs Assessment


Public Financial Management


Pakistan Information Strategy Group


Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League


Pakistan People’s Party


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.


Provincial Reconstruction Team


Research, Information and Communications Unit


Regional Economic Co-operation Conference on Afghanistan


South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation


Shanghai Co-operation Organisation


Senior Civilian Representative


Strategic Export Control Division


Supporting Employment and Enterprise Development


Small and Medium Enterprises


Serious Organised Crime Agency


Civilian Stabilisation Advisers


Task Force Helmand


Train the Trainer (EUPol Certificate)


Technical and Vocational Education and Training


UK Trade and Investment


UK Border Agency


Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General


United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan


United Nations Development Programme Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow


United Nations Childrens Fund


United Nations Development Fund for Women


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


United Nations Security Council Resolution


World Trade Organisation

[1] 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 community.

[2] 2008 World Bank Afghanistan Investment Climate Survey

[3] 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.


[5] The FCO’s memorandum of evidence for the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry ‘Global Security: Afghanistan and Pakistan ’ stated that 6 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 enrolled.

[6] Source – BBC Monitoring, Media Environment Guide: Afghanistan July 2010