Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Debate on unmanned aerial vehicles

The Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham, Rehman Chishti, used a Westminster Hall debate to raise concerns about the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Speaking during the debate on 6 November 2012, he said the unmanned aircraft were causing deaths of civilians which was "undermining the aim of winning hearts and minds".

Senior al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been killed in drone strikes by US forces in Pakistan.

Pakistan says the drone attacks fuel anti-US sentiment and claim civilian casualties along with militants. The US insists the strikes are effective, although there are claims that over 800 civilians have been killed.

Liberal Democrat MP Sir Nick Harvey, a former defence minister, argued in support of the use of drones, saying the UK should be "proud" of what they have done in tackling terrorism in Afghanistan.

Newly appointed Defence Minister Philip Dunne argued that drones provided a crucial role in the region, saying they provide constant "unblinking" surveillance.

He said similar tasks carried out by manned aircraft would be "resource intensive".


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