Pakistan: Christians

House of Lords written question – answered on 5th October 2009.

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Photo of Lord Patten Lord Patten Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether representatives of Her Majesty's high commissioner in Pakistan have made or will make a fact-finding visit to the Christian village of Bahmani Wala, District of Kasur, that was attacked on 30 June by those alleging blasphemy against the prophet Mohammed.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Labour

We are concerned about reports that members of the Christian community in Bahmani Wala, Pakistan have been attacked. The UK supports freedom of religion and condemns persecution because of faith or beliefs. Incidents such as the attack in Bahmani Wala are an example of the discrimination and violent extremism faced by religious minorities in Pakistan.

We regularly raise our concerns with the Government of Pakistan about the situation of religious minorities, both with our EU partners and bilaterally in London and through our high commission in Islamabad, and will continue to do so. The most recent EU demarche called upon the Government of Pakistan to promote tolerance, to protect effectively freedom of belief and freedom of expression and to reform discriminatory legislation, in particular blasphemy laws.

Although there are no plans to visit Bahmani Wala, officials from the high commission in Islamabad will continue to monitor developments closely. We note that a compensation package has been announced for those affected by the attack.

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