Skip to main content

Afghanistan

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much opium has been (a) impounded and (b) destroyed by ISAF forces in Afghanistan in each month since January 2002. [116418]

Where ISAF forces come across opium, the drugs, and any individuals involved, are handed over to the Afghanistan authorities. However, it is possible that during initial ISAF operations, some drug stockpiles were destroyed.The Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) does not maintain a record of the quantity of opium which may have been impounded and/or destroyed by ISAF forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions have been given to British forces in Afghanistan (a) to impound and (b) to destroy (i) opium and (ii) heroin. [116419]

None of the British forces who are serving in Afghanistan has been instructed to impound or destroy opium or heroin. However, where British forces come across opium or heroin, the drugs, and any individuals involved, are handed over to the Afghanistan authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what financial resources his Department has allocated specifically to reducing opium production in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [116811]

The Ministry of Defence has not allocated resources specifically to reduce opium production in Afghanistan. Increased security and stability are vital to Afghanistan's attempts to reduce opium production. Our contributions towards this have been considerable through Operation FINGAL (our contribution to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)) and Operation VERITAS (our contribution to the coalition against international terrorism). The costs for these operations for Financial Year 2002–03 are approximately £30 million and £170 million respectively.