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Pakistan: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Pakistani counterpart on (a) the human rights situation in Pakistan and (b) the arrest of Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We remain concerned about the human rights situation across Pakistan, including on freedom of expression. We are aware of the arrest of Mr Pashteen on 27 January and are monitoring the case. We remain concerned by restrictions on the freedom of expression in Pakistan. The freedom to hold and express views without censorship, intimidation or unnecessary restriction is a cornerstone of democracy. We regularly raise at a senior level our concerns about the human rights situation with of the Government of Pakistan. The previous Foreign Secretary discussed the human rights situation in Pakistan with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Qureshi during his visit to the UK in June 2019. The Minister for South Asia Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon raised our concerns about the human rights situation in Pakistan, including the protection of minority communities, with Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister in November 2019.

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