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Pakistan: Radicalism

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 22nd December 2015.

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Photo of Mike Kane Mike Kane Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for trends in the levels of extremism in Pakistan.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK and Pakistan share a commitment to defeating extremism. As the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) has said, this is one of the greatest threats that we face. Extremist narratives underpin all acts of terrorism, whether the tragic events that took place in Paris last month, or the murder of 132 innocent children in Peshawar in 2014. That is why we strongly support Pakistan’s efforts to tackle terrorism and the extremism that sustains it. As in the UK, this requires effort in a number of areas, including investment in education, tackling poverty and confronting the extremist narrative.

The Government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy sets out our approach to tackling all forms of extremism in the UK. It recognises that the problem is a global one. We are therefore working with international partners, including Pakistan, to reinforce our efforts at home and to build a more robust international response to extremism. As part of this, we continuously assess the threat to the UK and our partners to inform our efforts to combat extremism wherever it emerges. We are also working with Pakistan to deepen our shared understanding of the issue and to develop and implement effective responses.

Extremism is a complex and multi-faceted issue. In assessing the nature of extremism, Her Majesty's Government captures a broad spectrum of internal and external source material, including working closely with academics, civil society groups and other governments.

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