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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL8400, tabled on 6 June 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government how their development policies in Pakistan address discrimination experienced by religious minorities in access to education, jobs and government positions.

Answered on

18 June 2018

The UK Government strongly condemns religious persecution and we will continue to engage the Government of Pakistan on the need to uphold the social, economic and political rights of all of its citizens, regardless of faith, gender or ethnicity. We continue to raise the issue of freedom of religion and belief at the highest levels of government.

DFID programming includes an emphasis on reaching marginalised communities. Our Skills Development Programme will provide vocational training for 8,800 people from religious minorities by 2021. In Punjab we work with the Pakistan Minorities Teachers Association to help meet the needs of religious minorities in schools, including provision of higher education scholarships. Education programmes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab support implementation of the 2006 reformed curriculum, which promotes religious tolerance and respect for diversity. The new AAWAZ II: Inclusion, Accountability, and Preventing Modern Slavery Programme will foster tolerance and social cohesion between different religious groups in 4,500 villages across 45 districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.