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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL13192, tabled on 29 January 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Pakistan about employment discrimination, with particular regard to advertisements published by that government which reserve low level jobs, such as street sweeping, for religious minorities; whether UK aid supports employment opportunities in the public sector closed to religious minorities; and whether they support programmes which help illiterate members of religious minorities in that country to improve their employment prospects.

Answered on

12 February 2019

Our aid relationship with any government is based on an assessment of their commitment to our Partnership Principles, including to promote and safeguard human rights. Our development assistance targets the poor, regardless of race, religion, social background or nationality. We promote the Partnership Principles in our dealings with the Pakistan Government, and this extends to economic development and employment. The Partnership Principles Assessment (PPA) is regularly discussed with the Economic Affairs Division, Government of Pakistan, at the federal level and we discussed it formally last year at the Bilateral Assistance Talks in March. We also have specific programmes to help the poorest become more equipped for work. DFID Pakistan’s Skills Development Programme will provide 330,000 poor and vulnerable people, including those from minority communities, with technical and vocational training to improve their employment prospects.

DFID and the FCO continue to raise the issue of human rights of minorities at the highest levels of Government, including in our annual Bilateral Assistance Talks, advocating greater tolerance and action against abuses when they occur.