Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 28th April 2003.

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Photo of Mr Andy King Mr Andy King Labour, Rugby and Kenilworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of (a) the ability of the new Pakistani Government to curb religious fundamentalism and terrorism in Pakistan and (b) the impact of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) opposition on Pakistani Government policies, with particular reference to the frequent public calls for jihad against non-Muslims made by the MMA.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We welcomed President Musharraf's courageous decision to join the international coalition against terrorism and the steps taken thus far to clamp down on terrorist groups in Pakistan, including the banning of five such groups. We will continue to urge him and the new Government to continue with this vital task. Pakistan continues to be a staunch ally in the continuing campaign against al-Qaeda. It is too early to assess the impact that the MMA will have on Pakistan's policies. We have no reason to doubt Pakistan's continuing commitment to act against terrorism and extremism wherever it occurs.

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