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Written Question
Pakistan: Minority Groups
Monday 24th June 2019

Asked by: Lord Gordon of Strathblane (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan about addressing hate speech against Christians and other minorities in schools, the workplace and places of worship.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of minority communities, including religious minorities, with the Pakistani Government 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. While in Pakistan, I also met a range of Pakistan's faith leaders to discuss freedom of religion or belief.

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 £12m fund to bolster the work of civil society and NGOs to promote respect and the value of religious diversity and tolerance.

We continue to urge the government of Pakistan to guarantee the rights of all people in Pakistan as laid down in the Constitution and in accordance with international standards. It is vital that Pakistan guarantees the rights of all its citizens, regardless of ethnicity or belief.