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Pakistan: Blasphemy

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 534, tabled on 11 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of reports that Christian nurses Mariam Lal and Navish Aroojtwo in Faisalabad, Pakistan, have been charged under that country's blasphemy statutes.

Answered on

19 May 2021

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about reports of discrimination against the Christian community and other religious minorities in Pakistan. We regularly raise at a senior level our concerns regarding blasphemy laws with the Government of Pakistan. On 23 March, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, discussed Freedom of Religion or Belief with Pakistan's Special Representative for Religious Harmony, Tahir Ashrafi. On 20 February, Lord Ahmad raised our concerns about the protection of minority religious communities, including the use of blasphemy laws, with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Dr Shireen Mazari. We will continue to urge the government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion or belief.