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Pakistan: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 106835, tabled on 10 October 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Pakistani counterpart on the protection of vulnerable Christian villagers in Pakistan against further attacks; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

18 October 2017

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.

We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of minority communities with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. The ​Foreign Secretary discussed the importance we attach to safeguarding the rights of all Pakistan's citizens during his visit to Pakistan in November 2016. The former Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mr Sharma, raised the protection of minorities with Kamran Michael, former Minister for Human Rights, and Barrister Zafarullah Khan, former Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Human Rights, during a visit to Pakistan in January 2017.

Our High Commission in Islamabad raised our concerns about the treatment of religious minorities with the Ministry of Human Rights last month. We will continue to urge Pakistan to honour in practice its human rights obligations, including those related to religious minorities, as part of Pakistan's forthcoming Universal Periodic Review.