CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – TALIBAN & CIVILIAN KILLINGS – 12 March 2012

[Mr Speaker: Order. Accommodating the level of interest in this subject, given that there is important time-limited Back-Bench business to follow, will necessitate brevity, which will now be exemplified by Dr Julian Lewis.]

Dr Julian Lewis: I thought you might pick me for that, Mr Speaker.

The Afghan Government and the Afghan people are rightly outraged by this atrocity, but does the Minister agree that the one bunch of people who have no right to promise revenge are the Taliban? It was their hosting of an international terrorist organisation that murdered thousands of men, women and children that led to the invasion of Afghanistan in the first place.

[The Minister for the Armed Forces (Nick Harvey): I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. In addition to their past atrocities, the Taliban are also responsible for the great majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan – 77% in the past year.]