The Leader of the House will have seen early-day motion 1518 about the terrible murder in Pakistan of Shahbaz Bhatti.
[That this House condemns the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani Minister for Minorities, who was the only Christian in the cabinet; notes that this comes only days after the government of Pakistan's retention of a minorities representative in the new cabinet and the Ministry for Minorities Affairs as an independent ministry; recognises the significant advances made in the interests of minority rights and interfaith dialogue by the Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti through this ministry; expresses concern at the ongoing misuse of the provisions of section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code, known as the blasphemy laws, and the threats posed to all who challenge this legislation; and urges the government of Pakistan to reconsider reviewing the blasphemy laws as a matter of urgency.]
As this is the mother of Parliaments, may we take the matter one step further? May we consider having, somewhere in the precincts of the Palace of Westminster, a memorial on which, by resolution of the House, we could put the names of those parliamentarians and politicians who are murdered simply for seeking to uphold democratic principles and democratic values elsewhere in the world?
— from debate entitled “Business of the House”
The three speeches/headings immediately before
- 1 earlier: George Young
I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. Indeed, our response was partly because of the question that he put some time ago, asking for a debate in Government time on the middle east. The Government have reserved the right to have debates on general subjects, notwithstanding the fact that the Backbench Business Committee has access to much of the time. We have used that freedom, as we had a debate on the strategic defence review back in October, and I would not rule out using it again if the need arose.
- 2 earlier: Denis MacShane
I congratulate the Leader of the House on being an attentive reader of The House magazine and the argument from a right hon. Member for a foreign affairs debate, now granted on 17 March, three months to the day after the self-immolation of the young man in Tunisia that sparked the crisis. Better later than never. Will the Leader of the House assure the House that we might have another international affairs debate before the year is out?
- 3 earlier: George Young
There will be an opportunity later this month to debate matters relating to taxation when we consider the Budget. My hon. Friend’s point reinforces the case never to allow the Labour party to have the keys to the economy again.
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