To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Pakistani Minorities Abductions, Forced Conversions, and Forced Marriages of Religious Minority Women and Girls in Pakistan, published on 25 November 2021; and what plans they have to implement its recommendations to assist the government Pakistan in (1) collecting comprehensive data to establish the number of (a) abductions, (b) forcible conversions, and (c) forcible marriages, of religious minority women and girls in that country, and (2) reforms to the training of the police and judiciary, including using the training developed by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.
8 February 2022
The UK Government welcomes the publication of the All Party Parliamentary Group's recent report. I [Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia], spoke at the launch event. The UK strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about freedom of religion or belief and women and girls' rights at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During my visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June 2021, I [Lord Ahmad] met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers, and discussed our concerns. I met interfaith leaders to understand the situation of Pakistani minorities, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage. Most recently, I discussed the need to promote respect for all religions with Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, on 28 November 2021. The FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages and gender-based violence. The UK Government has supported the Government of Pakistan in setting up eight child courts to provide child-sensitive justice to children who come in contact with the law, including victims of child abuse, trafficking and child marriage.