Skip to main content

Pakistan: Overseas Aid

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL5198, tabled on 29 January 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in determining the amount of aid for Pakistan in 2018–19 of £345 million, what consideration, if any, was given to (1) the reported assistance given to the Afghan Taliban by that country's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, (2) the amount spent on nuclear weapons per annum by that country, (3) the amount per annum spent on defence, (4) Pakistan's rating by Transparency International, (5) the use of the death penalty there, and the number of prisoners awaiting execution, (6) the number of juveniles sentenced to death, (7) recent death sentences for blasphemy, (8) the practice and legal status of female genital mutilation, (9) the intimidation of journalists who criticise Pakistan's military, and (10) the 2016 Amnesty International report listing Pakistan in the top ten worst countries in the world for human rights abuses.

Answered on

6 February 2018

Helping to ensure a prosperous and stable Pakistan is critical for the future of millions of poor Pakistanis, and the stability and security of both the region and the UK. The UK is helping Pakistan improve its basic services, reduce poverty, and promote equality. Our funding helps strengthen institutions, develop markets and build systems for a self-sufficient and better governed country. DFID’s work supports wider UK objectives by helping to reduce threats to the UK which may emanate from Pakistan linked to extremism, illegal migration and foreign national offenders in the UK of Pakistan origin.

Our aid relationship with any government is based on an assessment of commitment to our Partnership Principles, including to promote and safeguard human rights. We no longer provide General Budget Support to Pakistan. Instead, where it is effective and efficient to work through government systems, we direct our support towards specific areas such as health and education sectors. UK aid programmes which provide funding through the Government only proceed when the Government of Pakistan provides most of the funds itself, commits to increase its own spending, and delivers results; and when we know UK aid is protected from corruption. DFID and the FCO continue to raise the issue of human rights of minorities at the highest levels of Government. No UK aid funds nuclear programmes in Pakistan, either directly or indirectly. It is the long-standing policy of the Government not to comment on matters relating to intelligence or national security and we are not aware of any reliable data that is available on Pakistan’s nuclear programme expenditure.