Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government will take, following the killing by extremists of Afghan girl students at school, to use air power from external bases, in conjunction with the US, to assist the Afghan Government resist terrorism by (a) Daesh and (b) the Taliban, after all NATO land forces have been withdrawn from Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
[Due for Answer on 17 May.]
The Minister for the Armed Forces (James Heappey): We deplore the attack on the Sayed al-Shuhada School in Kabul and send our deepest condolences to the families of those killed.
NATO partners, including the UK, confirmed on 14 April that an orderly and coordinated withdrawal of NATO forces will begin by May. As agreed by NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers, the withdrawal of Resolute Support Mission forces from Afghanistan will be complete within a few months. The UK's Operation TORAL forms a part of the Resolute Support Mission and as such we will draw down this operation in line with our NATO Allies and Partners.
The UK has not engaged in combat operations, including close air support, since the end of Operation HERRICK in 2014. We have no plans to restart combat operations believing instead that the political process must now move forward.
The UK remains committed to supporting Afghanistan on its path to a more peaceful and positive future. Only a negotiated and inclusive settlement will bring sustainable peace. For there to be any chance of a lasting peace, the Taliban must engage meaningfully in a dialogue with the Afghan government. The UK remains committed to supporting the development of the Afghan Security Forces on their path to becoming fully self-sufficient and in maintaining security for the people of Afghanistan. We are committed to continue providing financial support to sustain Afghan forces through to at least 2024.
The Taliban has committed to preventing terrorist groups using Afghanistan to launch international attacks; they must deliver on their commitments. We need to see action that matches their word.