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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 38300, tabled on 22 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the recommendation of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief's report entitled Religious Minorities of Pakistan: Report of a Parliamentary visit, published in September 2019, what representations his Department has made to Pakistan’s provincial governments on the return of nationalised Christian and Ahmadi colleges and schools.

Answered on

6 September 2021

The UK Government continues to engage with representatives of Christian and Ahmadi communities in Pakistan to understand their concerns about, and implications of, the nationalisation of their colleges and schools. During his recent visit to Pakistan, Lord Ahmad hosted a roundtable and discussed this issue, including the recent nationalisation of Edwardes College Peshawar, with interfaith leaders, the Chairperson of the Council of Islamic Ideology, and members of Pakistan's Parliament on 23 June. Lord Ahmad also met with Pakistan Federal Education Minister, Shafqat Mahmood, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Minister, Shahram Khan, and Sindh Education and Labour Minister, Saeed Ghani, during the Global Education Summit on 28 July. These discussions focussed on ensuring girls' access to education, supporting continuity of education during the pandemic, and promoting inclusivity and respect for all religions. As part of our wider support to the education sector, the UK Government has facilitated a coalition of civil society actors that is working with the Government of Pakistan to promote inclusion and rights of children from minorities and other marginalised groups.

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