To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the government of Pakistan on the cases of Abdul Shakoor and Mazhar Sipra.
8 November 2016
We are aware of Mr Shakoor and Mr Sipra's cases. I remain concerned about reports of abuses against Ahmadiyya and other religious minorities in Pakistan. The Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs. Our concerns are reflected in the latest update to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office annual human rights report, which can be found on www.gov.uk/fco.
We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of minority communities, including the misuse of the blasphemy laws, 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. We continue to urge Pakistan to honour in practice its human rights obligations, including those related to religious minorities.