Pakistan: Minority Groups:Written question - 252500

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 09 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Pakistan: Minority Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has discussed with his Pakistani counterpart land grabbing from members of religious minorities in that country.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 16 May 2019

The Government strongly condemns discrimination against minorities, including through seizure of land from minority groups. We are deeply concerned about persecution of religious minorities and restrictions on the freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of advancing the rights of minorities during her telephone call with Imran Khan in August 2018 following his election as Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief and the protection of minority religious communities with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister during his visit to Pakistan in February 2019.

At the UN Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan in November 2017, the UK pressed Pakistan to strengthen the protection of minorities, including by establishing an independent National Commission for Minorities.

We recognise the drive by Prime Minister Imran Khan to stop land seizures. We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of minority communities with the Government of Pakistan at senior levels. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee fully the rights of all Pakistani citizens, including religious minorities, and to honour its international obligations.

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