Pakistan: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they support the UN Paris Principles, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, including the provisions which require such institutions to maintain their independence from the national governments; and if so, what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan about the National Commission for Human Rights of Pakistan maintaining its independence from the Federal Ministry of Human Rights of Pakistan.

Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Pakistan about ensuring that the Federal Ministry of Human Rights of Pakistan does not curtail the independence of the National Commission for Human Rights of Pakistan by controlling its financial resources.

Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of whether (1) the National Commission for Human Rights of Pakistan is free to submit independent reports to UN bodies, as required by the UN Paris Principles; and (2) the Chairman and members of the National Commission for Human Rights of Pakistan are free to travel to participate in committees of the UN.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

Promoting human rights is a fundamental part of the British Government's diplomatic work, including in Pakistan.

We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to take the steps necessary to comply in full with its human rights obligations. This includes ensuring that the human rights institutional structures and processes necessary to discharge its international commitments are in place in line with international standards.

We maintain a regular dialogue with the National Commission for Human Rights of Pakistan about their concerns. I discussed these concerns with the Chairman of the National Commission during my visit to Pakistan on 18 and 19 February. I also raised human rights issues with the Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, during the same visit.

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