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Concerns voiced by Banchory Academy pupils to local MP Sir Robert Smith have been taken by him to Prime Minister David Cameron.

On a recent visit, the school pupils told the member for Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine about their worries over the treatment of woman in Afghanistan.

Sir Robert, who has visited the central Asian country, asked Mr Cameron during Prime Minister’s questions what reassurances he could give the pupils that the rights and safety of women would be secured after the withdrawal of the international NATO force in 2014.

The youngsters from Banchory had met with Sir Robert as part of their campaign to highlight the uncertain future for women in Afghanistan once international troops leave.

There are concerns that, after the transition, many of the advances in the rights of women - which were boosted after the fall of the Taliban government in 2001 - will be lost.

Sir Robert, who is a Joint Chair of the All Party Afghanistan Group, said: “The improvements in the lives of women is one of the most significant achievements of the international presence in Afghanistan.

‘‘ It is vital that the UK Government does all it can to help the Afghan Government continue to protect the rights of women in Afghanistan....”

Commenting on his meeting with the pupils he said: “One of my abiding memories from Afghanistan was visiting a classroom where all the pupils were female..

‘‘The enthusiasm with which these girls welcomed the opportunity to go to school contrasted markedly with the life they would have led under the Taliban.’’

The Banchory Academy Amnesty International Group want to help secure the future rights of pupils in Afghanistan.

They are also seeking to put pressure on the Afghan Government in the hope that it will act on its pledges to protect (women’s) rights.