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Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response has been received to the request to Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle that she not proceed to another death sentence for Mr. Krishna Maharaj. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have made clear to the Florida state authorities our opposition to the death penalty and have asked on various occasions that they do not proceed to another death sentence for Mr. Krishna Maharaj. The Florida authorities have to date responded that, given the
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Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many members of his staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office supports the Prime Minister's initiative on volunteering and staff are entitled to take at least one day's special paid leave every year to engage in voluntary or community activities.
Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of links between the Nepalese Maoist insurgents, and other non-Maoist terrorist organisations outside that country. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have no credible evidence of links between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and non-Maoist terrorist organisations outside of Nepal. This is an issue which we watch very closely, particularly since the events of 11 September 2001.
Mr. Bradshaw: Our Ambassador in Kathmandu was in regular contact with the Nepalese Prime Minister and other senior figures during the period when the Nepalese Government and the Maoists in Nepal were engaged in peace talks. Unfortunately the peace talks were ended abruptly in November 2001 by the Maoists who returned to violence to further their aims. Our Ambassador remains in close contact with the Nepalese Government. I made it clear to the Nepalese Prime Minister and others during my recent visit to Kathmandu that the UK stands ready to help in the peace process if asked to do so.
Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the visits to Nepal made by his Department's Ministers, by date, since 1 January 1999; and what plans Ministers have to make further visits. 
Mr. Bradshaw: My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House visited Nepal on 2021 April 2000 as Foreign Secretary. I visited Nepal from 1920 February 2002. There are currently no further plans for Ministers from this Department to visit Nepal. However, we will keep under review, in conjunction with the other two Government Departments with particular interest in Nepal, the MOD and DFID. In this context my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for International Development and for Defence visited Nepal in November 1998 and December 2001 respectively.
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Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Nepal regarding the recent unrest and Maoist violence in that country. 
Mr. Bradshaw: During my visit to Nepal on 19 and 20 February I held discussions with the King of Nepal, the Nepalese Prime Minister and the Nepalese Assistant Foreign Minister. In all of these meetings I discussed the current security situation in Nepal and condemned the recent barbaric attacks by the Maoists on the Nepalese security forces, politicians and general public.
Mr. MacShane: The Interim Administration, with support from the International Community, is developing its law enforcement capabilities. We are working with the Interim Administration to ensure the development of a significantly enhanced capacity to apprehend drug traffickers and other criminals.
Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what targets have been set for the reduction of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan; and if these targets have been met. 
Mr. MacShane: It is our long-term aim to have effective and sustainable drugs law enforcement in Afghanistan. An important element of the international community's approach will be measures designed to break the dependence on poppy cultivation of many within Afghanistan. In order for these measures to be effective the Interim Administration will need to set appropriate targets.
Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress there has been towards creating alternative sources of credit for poor Afghan farmers who rely on drug traffickers as their main source of credit. 
Mr. MacShane: International assistance to Afghanistan has in the first phase focused on humanitarian relief. In the reconstruction and developmental phase the international community, including the UK, will consider structural issues such as the provision of legitimate rural credits.
Mr. MacShane: The Bonn conference agreement was a political agreement intended to lead to a stable government in Afghanistan after a transitional period. In the agreement the international community and regional organisations were urged to co-operate with the Interim Administration to combat international terrorism, cultivation and trafficking of illicit drugs and provide Afghan farmers with financial, material and technical resources for alternative crop production. The Interim Administration has already introduced a ban on drugs production, processing and trafficking but it is too early to assess the impact on areas already under poppy cultivation.
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Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the role of regional leaders, who operate outside the control of the Afghan Interim Administration, in the Afghan opium poppy production and drug trafficking. 
Mr. MacShane: There was no effective governance in Afghanistan for many years. As a consequence authority was traditionally exercised primarily at the regional level. As a result of the Bonn Process, on 22 December 2001, the Afghan Interim Administration took office as the country's first national Government for many years. In order to establish sustainable drugs law enforcement throughout Afghanistan it will be important for regional leaders to co-operate constructively with national counter- narcotics institutions established by the Afghan Interim Administration.
Mr. MacShane: The Interim Administration has been in place for just over two months. With support from the International Community it is developing its law enforcement capabilities. Over time, the Interim Administration is expected to develop a significantly enhanced capacity to apprehend drug traffickers and other criminals.
Mr. MacShane: In the short period since the Taliban fell, the international community has co-ordinated a comprehensive programme of humanitarian and development assistance for Afghanistan, within which an anti-narcotics strategy will be an integral part. The provision of alternative livelihoods for Afghan farmers currently dependent on poppy cultivation to sustain themselves and their families will be an important element of the international community's long-term programme of assistance for Afghanistan. We are working closely with the relevant UN agencies to ensure that this assistance is effective and sustainable.
Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the (a) EU and (b) UN since the demise of the Taliban on the destruction of (i) heroin stockpiles and (ii) the current opium poppy crop. 
Mr. MacShane: Tackling drugs in Afghanistan is an area of key concern to the international community, including the UK. We are consulting closely with partners in the EU and UN on how to address this issue.
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Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support the international community is providing to the authorities in Herat in their efforts to disrupt the drugs trade. 
Mr. MacShane: Herat Province accounts for a very small proportion of Afghan opium cultivation (0.05 per cent. in 2000). The International Community is committed to supporting the Interim Administration's drug control efforts in all parts of Afghanistan. This includes the creation of alternative legal livelihood, the reconstruction of infrastructure, the creation of effective law enforcement institutions and the promotion of good governance.
Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what crop substitution incentives the international community has in place to encourage Afghan farmers to destroy their current poppy crop. 
Mr. MacShane: Sustainable drug control in Afghanistan can only be achieved by using a variety of different measures including the creation of alternative legal livelihoods (including crop substitution), the reconstruction of infrastructure, effective law enforcement and good governance. Reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan are addressing these issues and the Interim Administration, supported by the international community, is working to achieve effective drug control.
Mr. MacShane: The Afghan Interim Administration is developing its law enforcement capacity to act, inter alia, against the illegal drugs trade. The Interim Administration has already declared a ban on drugs production, processing and trafficking which we have publicly welcomed. The international community, including the UK, is exploring how best to help the Afghans implement this ban and carry out effective and sustainable law enforcement including against the stockpiling of drugs.
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