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STWC Afghanistan – e petition response from the Government

February 19, 2010

If my children told me lies to this extent I would disown them.

We received a petition asking:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to bring the troops home from Afghanistan. Noting the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, and the destabilisation of Pakistan arising from the NATO military intervention in the region, and believing that only the Afghan people themselves can generate a political solution to their country’s problems, we therefore demand that the government commence the withdrawal of all British military forces from Afghanistan.”

· Read the petition
· Petitions homepage

Read the Government’s response

This Government believes that it is essential for our own national security that our armed forces remain in Afghanistan until their mission is complete.

UK troops and those from 43 other nations are in Afghanistan because of the terrorist threat facing us all.  They are there to keep our country safe by preventing al-Qaeda from having a secure base from which to threaten us directly.  If the Taliban were to regain control of Afghanistan then it would again become a terrorist breeding ground as it was before 11 September 2001.  The border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan are now the greatest international priority in tackling terrorism around the globe.
As was agreed at the London Conference on Afghanistan on 28 January, our mission is clear.  We will step up efforts to train and mentor the Afghan Security Forces so that the can progressively take on responsibility for security across Afghanistan.  That transition process should start later this year. 

Military force alone will not solve the region’s problems but it is a vital part of the solution.  Working in partnership with President Karzai’s Government, the international community has a multi-stranded approach, covering security, building more effective and accountable governance, tackling drugs-trafficking and corruption and promoting economic and social development. 
While major long-term challenges still lie ahead, there have been improvements in the quality of life of Afghan people.  Through the support of the UK-led Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team the institutions of government are being built at the provincial and local levels and we are working to revitalise the economy and agriculture to provide alternatives to the drugs trade.  Across Afghanistan, for many, a semblance of normality is returning with the growth of commerce.  Since 2001, the number of children enrolled in school has quadrupled, and access to healthcare has significantly improved.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 19, 2010 17:17

    As a signer I got this too, I largely ignore no 10 petitions now, they are pointless PR by the govt and no more, they had no effect on the Alan Turing apology as they had no objection and would have done it anyway as it didn’t conflict within policy, any issue where the govt conflicts with majority opinion however the petitions do nothing, the govt does what it wishes.

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