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House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Lord Astor of Hever Lord Astor of Hever - Shadow Minister (Also Shadow Minister for Defence and International Development), Shadow Minister, - Shadow Minister (Also Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development), Shadow Minister, - Shadow Minister (Also Shadow Minister for Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Minister

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Pashtun speakers there are (a) serving in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, (b) serving in Her Majesty's armed forces and deployed to Afghanistan, and (c) locally engaged in Afghanistan alongside Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

Photo of Baroness Taylor of Bolton Baroness Taylor of Bolton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Defence and Security) (also in the Ministry of Defence), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (International Defence and Security) (also in Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

There are approximately 150 service personnel registered as fluent Pashtun speakers serving in HM Forces. The number of personnel deployed to Afghanistan varies and currently stands at nine. A variety of other languages are spoken across HM Forces and the vast majority of personnel receive a basic level of language training before deploying to Afghanistan. We currently employ approximately 525 local civilians as interpreters in support of HM Forces in Afghanistan.

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