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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 132127, tabled on 12 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the state of freedom of religion and belief in Pakistan.

Answered on

15 March 2018

​We remain concerned about restrictions on freedom of religion and belief in Pakistan, particularly the misuse of the blasphemy laws. Blasphemy laws are used against people of all faiths, although minority communities are disproportionately affected. Our concerns are reflected in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Human Rights Report.

We regularly make clear our concerns about freedom of religion and belief and the protection of minority communities with the government of Pakistan. We do so at a senior level. During my visit to Pakistan last year, I raised our concerns about the treatment of religious minorities, including discrimination and violence against them, with the Federal Secretary of Pakistan's Ministry of Human Rights. My colleague, the Minister for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, raised the issues of freedom of religion and belief and the protection of minority religious communities with Pakistan's Interior Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, in February 2018.

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