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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL1702, tabled on 8 September 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Pakistan about the kidnapping and forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls and young women, the alignment of Pakistani Law with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and freedom of religion.

Answered on

19 September 2016

We are concerned about continuing reports of abuses against religious minorities in Pakistan. The Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs or gender. Our concerns are reflected in the latest update to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office annual human rights report.

We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of vulnerable groups, including women and religious minorities, with the Pakistani Government at a senior level. In April, the previous Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Philip Hammond), raised the importance of safeguarding the rights of all minorities with Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs.

It is encouraging that the government of Pakistan has enacted legislation to protect religious minorities. The UK Government continues to urge Pakistan to honour in practice its human rights obligations, including those related to religious minorities and women, and to uphold the rule of law.