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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL15662, tabled on 13 May 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the government of Pakistan to continue to uphold  the right to freedom of religion or belief in that country.

Answered on

23 May 2019

‚ÄčThe UK has a long history of supporting Freedom of Religion or Belief for all people. We stand up for everyone's right to practise or not practise a religion that is in line with their conscience, wherever they are in the world.

We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. I raised the treatment of religious minority communities with Pakistan's Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, during my visit to Islamabad in February, and in subsequent telephone calls.

Under the Government's Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy, the UK has supported projects in Pakistan to promote greater tolerance and religious freedom. In November 2018, the Government announced a new £12 million fund to bolster the work of civil society and Non-Governmental Organisations to promote respect, and the value of religious diversity and tolerance.

On 30 January 2019, the Foreign Secretary and the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, launched an Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians overseas. The Bishop submitted his interim report on 3 May; he will submit his final report in the summer.