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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 18:27 GMT
British MPs express Taleban fears
By David Loyn
BBC News, Kabul

Afghan police
The British MPs are particularly worried about the Afghan police
An all-party committee of British MPs has issued a report expressing concern about progress in Afghanistan.

The MPs visited the country last month and issued interim findings ahead of a major statement on Afghanistan by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

The International Development Committee reserved its strongest criticisms for the state of Afghan justice.

The MPs said failure in this area could lead directly to an increase in support for the Taleban.

Aid criticised

They said a lack of training and corruption meant that the police were not an effective national force, and it would be another four years before the army was capable of conducting independent operations.

At the same time, the aid agency Oxfam published the evidence it gave to the committee. It criticised aid spending as ineffective or inefficient, saying almost half of the US' aid budget goes directly to five US contractors.

Oxfam is highly critical of the international community for not building Afghan capacity to help itself, and it believes the military is making a mistake in engaging too much in development.

All of these announcements are designed to influence decision-making in Britain ahead of a statement which Mr Brown is due to make shortly, amid growing unease about the direction of events six years after the Taleban were pushed from power in Afghanistan.

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