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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6427, tabled on 6 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the Speaker of Pakistan’s Punjab Assembly that the construction of a new Hindu temple in Islamabad should be forbidden; what representations they intend to make to the government of Pakistan about (1) the obligations under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and (2) the freedom of religion or belief.

Answered on

13 July 2020

We are concerned by any comments which suggest that there should be restrictions on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). We are in contact with Hindu community groups in Pakistan, and are monitoring the situation closely. We engage at a senior level with the Pakistani Government on our concerns about FoRB and the mistreatment of religious and ethnic groups. Our High Commission in Islamabad frequently engages with the Hindu community to understand their needs. I raised our concerns about FoRB and the protection of minority religious communities with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 5 June. The UK High Commissioner to Pakistan raised our concerns about FoRB with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister on 8 June. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of its citizens, regardless of their belief, in accordance with international standards.