§ 73. Mr. Colvin
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations Her Majesty's Government has made to the Soviet Government about human rights in Afghanistan.
§ Mr. Eggar
When my right hon. and learned Friend met Mr. Shevardnadze on 15 July he drew his attention to the suffering he had witnessed during his visit to Afghan refugee camps and hospitals in Pakistan in April. We have recently drawn the attention of the Soviet embassy in London to our deep concern over the serious violations of human rights in Afghanistan, which have again been documented by the United Nations special rapporteur in his recent report to the General Assembly.
§ 82. Mr. Hayward
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the implications of the recent withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
§ Mr. Eggar
The claimed withdrawal in October of six regiments of Soviet forces in Afghanistan was stage-managed, had minimal military significance and, we believe, was in part fabricated. Despite the "withdrawal" of two motor rifle regiments, for example, we do not believe there has been a reduction in the number of such regiments in Afghanistan. Over 110,000 Soviet troops continue to prosecute a bitter war of occupation. The key to peace is their complete and early withdrawal.