Foreign Affairs Committee: Press Notice

27 November 2008



The Foreign Affairs Committee today announced a new inquiry with the following terms of reference:

As part of its continuing inquiry into global security, the Committee will inquire into foreign policy aspects of the UK's relations with Afghanistan.

Issues to be addressed will include:

€ the security implications of continuing instability in Afghanistan, and neighbouring areas in Pakistan, and the extent to which this represents a threat to the UK;

€ the nature and effectiveness of the UK's foreign policy approach to Afghanistan since 2001;

€ the contribution of UK forces in Afghanistan to achieving UK foreign policy objectives;

€ the UK's contribution to tackling problems related to counter-narcotics, governance, corruption, human rights and internal security within Afghanistan;

€ the role of the international community (in particular, the United States, the European Union, NATO and the United Nations) in relation to Afghanistan and Pakistan;

€ the prospects for a political settlement within Afghanistan and the scope for negotiations with elements amongst the Taliban;

€ the relationship between Afghanistan and its neighbours including Pakistan and Iran; and

€ whether UK and international foreign policy strategies towards Afghanistan ought to be altered.

Call for evidence:

Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to submit written evidence to the inquiry. Written evidence should be received by the Committee no later than 23 January 2009.

Oral evidence is expected to begin in March.

Guidance on submitting written evidence is provided below. Additional information can be found at:

Form of written evidence:

Each submission should contain the following information:

€ a short summary in bullet point form;

€ a brief introduction about the person submitting evidence, perhaps explaining their area of expertise;

€ any factual information from which the committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses; and

€ any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.

How to format submissions:

Each submission should use:

€ numbered paragraphs, and

€ MS Word format with as little use of colour/ logos as possible.

Submitting evidence:

Submissions should be sent as an e-mail attachment to and titled 'Global Security: Afghanistan Inquiry'. Paper copies may be sent to Foreign Affairs Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Inquiry related questions:

Please contact the Committee on 020 7219 3613 or by email to

Media enquiries:

Members of the press with enquiries should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589, or 07917 488488, or by email to

Committee information:

1. The Foreign Affairs Committee is responsible for scrutinising the "administration, expenditure and policy" of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its associated agencies. The text of all Committee publications, including Reports, can be found on the Committee's website at

2. The membership of the Committee is as follows: Mike Gapes (Chairman), Labour, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrats, Mr Fabian Hamilton, Labour, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory, Conservative, Mr John Horam, Conservative, Mr Eric Illsley, Labour, Mr Paul Keetch, Liberal Democrats, Andrew Mackinlay, Labour, Mr Malcolm Moss, Conservative, Sandra Osborne, Labour, Mr Greg Pope, Labour, Mr Ken Purchase, Labour, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, Conservative, Ms Gisela Stuart, Labour

Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 6394, email -

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Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on