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Pakistan: Minority Groups

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL15525, tabled on 7 May 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the letter sent by 50 members of the European Parliament to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on 30 April warning that continued violation of the UN Treaty on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in respect of the treatment of Pakistan’s minorities may compel the EU Parliament to call on the European Commission to suspend all subsidies and trade preferences to Pakistan; and whether they are considering taking similar action.

Answered on

17 May 2019

​We are aware of the open letter to Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, in which EU Parliamentarians express concerns about the persecution of minorities and highlight the link to the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).

The British Government urges Pakistan to make human rights reforms in line with the relevant UN conventions, and to fully cooperate with the EU in the GSP+ process. I raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief and the protection of minority religious communities with Pakistan's Foreign Minister and Human Rights Minister during my visit to Pakistan in February 2019. At the UN Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan in November 2017, the UK pressed Pakistan to strengthen the protection of minorities and to explain the steps being taken to tackle the abuse of the blasphemy laws.