To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will discuss with his Pakistani counterpart the abolition of the blasphemy laws used in that country.
11 September 2015
We regularly raise our concerns about Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and the need for reform, as well as concerns about specific cases where individuals have been accused of blasphemy. In February 2015, I raised UK concerns about the blasphemy laws with a group of visiting Pakistani Parliamentarians. In June, I conveyed to the High Commissioner for Pakistan our ongoing concern about the application of the blasphemy law in Pakistan. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), discussed Pakistan’s blasphemy laws with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in November 2014 and in August, during wide-ranging discussions, raised broader UK concerns around religious freedom and human rights with Pakistan’s Interior Minister.
In December 2014 my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister the member for Witney (Mr Cameron) also stressed our concerns about Pakistan’s blasphemy law with Prime Minister Sharif. We will ensure that this issue continues to be raised at the highest levels in Pakistan.