To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the government of Pakistan on the issue of religious freedom (a) in relation to the case of Asia Bibi and (b) in general.
8 June 2015
We remain concerned about the case of Asia Bibi and the court’s decision to uphold the imposition of the death penalty for blasphemy. We hope the verdict will be overturned at the next appeal. On 28 October 2014, I raised our concerns on Ms Bibi’s case with the Pakistan High Commissioner. On 5 December 2014 the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) stressed our concerns about Pakistan’s blasphemy law with Prime Minister Sharif. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), discussed Pakistan’s misuse of the blasphemy laws with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in November 2014.
We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to protect the human rights of all its citizens as laid down in the Constitution and in accordance with international standards.
Our concerns about religious freedom in Pakistan are documented in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s annual Human Rights report and quarterly updates.