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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL7579, tabled on 8 May 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to respond to the decision in the Punjab to impose compulsory Quranic teachings in all schools and colleges in the province; and what assessment they have made of how this will impact on the Punjab’s minorities and their freedom of religion or belief.

Answered on

16 May 2018

We continue to work with the federal and provincial governments to improve the quality of education in Pakistan. The Department for International Development's education programmes in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces support the implementation of Pakistan's reformed curriculum from 2006 that teaches religious tolerance and respect for diversity.

We regularly raise our concerns about the treatment of minority communities with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. I discussed the issue of freedom of religion and belief, and the protection of religious minorities with Pakistan's Interior Minister in February 2018. At the UN Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan in November 2017, the UK pressed Pakistan to strengthen the protection of minorities, including by establishing an independent National Commission for Minorities from all faith communities.