Oral question. 19/12/12
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): The withdrawal of troops is of course very welcome, but why has the Secretary of State disregarded the alarming fact that in the past 12 months, $900 million has been stolen from the bank of Afghanistan by Government corruption, and that £4.5 billion has been smuggled out of that country, much of it to Dubai, to tart up the boltholes that the politicians have prepared to flee to in 2015? Does he think that the Afghan army will give their allegiance to a corrupt Government, to the Northern Alliance or to the Taliban?
Mr Hammond: I am not ignoring those facts. I have acknowledged that the Afghan Government will have to do much more about corruption if Afghanistan is to have a viable future. All our activity, through DFID and other channels, is to secure sustainable development in Afghanistan, which will encourage people to retain their wealth in Afghanistan, but I do not dissent from the hon. Gentleman’s suggestion that there is wholesale corruption and that significant amounts of money have been illegally expatriated from the country. He is of course right.