Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Department for International Development written question – answered on 25th November 2015.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make it her policy to attach conditions to aid to Pakistan relating to the prevention of persecution of and discrimination against Christians.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne The Minister of State, Department for International Development

Our aid relationship with any government is based on an assessment of their commitment to our Partnership Principles, which include human rights. The Government of Pakistan has publicly recognised the problems facing minorities, and the need to bring an end to religious persecution. We remain fully committed to working in partnership with them to achieve this.

We raise these issues regularly with the Government of Pakistan; most recently the Head of DFID Pakistan raised this issue in October as part of the annual Bilateral Assistance Talks. Withdrawing aid would undermine our ability to protect the poorest, including many minority and excluded groups.

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