International Development and Gender-based Violence

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 3:33 pm on 26th November 2020.

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Photo of Imran Ahmad Khan Imran Ahmad Khan Conservative, Wakefield 3:33 pm, 26th November 2020

The story that the hon. Member tells about her own forced marriage is tragic. However, as my hon. Friend Fiona Bruce has mentioned in relation to the case of 14-year-old Maira Shahbaz, it is slightly hollow for Pakistan—whether in Azad Kashmir or the main part—to protest about freedoms and human rights when its own laws allow for the abuse of its citizens.

In Maira’s case, it is not just that a 14-year-old girl was gang raped and then kidnapped out of her home; she was then forcibly converted to Islam, so if she now renounces that religion, she will be sentenced to death for apostasy under Pakistani law. That really makes the points that the hon. Member made, which are all right, hollow in the case of Pakistan.