Pakistan: Religious Freedom:Written question - HL4982

Asked on: 25 January 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Pakistan: Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the forthcoming periodic review of human rights in Pakistan, whether they intend to ask the government of Pakistan to affirm its commitment to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the freedom to change one’s belief or not have any kind of religious belief.
Answered on: 06 February 2017

As my noble friend Baroness Goldie made clear in the House of Lords on 8 September 2016, "the Government remains firmly committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief, as set out in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights". We regularly raise our concerns about freedom of religion or belief with the government of Pakistan at a senior level. During his visit to Pakistan in November 2016, the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson), discussed religious tolerance and the importance of safeguarding the rights of all Pakistan's citizens. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Reading West (Mr Sharma), raised our concerns about religious minorities with Kamran Michael, Pakistani Minister for Human Rights, and Barrister Zafarullah Khan, the Prime Minister's Special Assistant for Human Rights during his visit to Pakistan in January 2017. The Government continues to urge Pakistan to honour in practice all its human rights obligations, including its commitment to Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to uphold the rule of law.

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