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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 45889, tabled on 12 September 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Pakistani counterpart on reports of the persecution of Christians and other minorities living in Pakistan.

Answered on

20 September 2016

We are concerned about continuing reports of abuses against Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. The Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their religion or beliefs. 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 minority communities, including 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 minority groups. The United Kingdom continues to urge Pakistan to honour in practice its human rights obligations, including those related to religious minorities, and to uphold the rule of law.