Islamabad: Religious Buildings

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Pakistani counterpart on plans to build a Hindu Temple in Islamabad; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We are monitoring the situation around the construction of the Shri Krishna Mandir temple in Islamabad closely. The UK Government remains deeply concerned by reports of discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan, including against the Hindu community. Our High Commission in Islamabad frequently engages with the Hindu community to understand their needs. We engage at a senior level with the Pakistani Government on our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and the mistreatment of religious and ethnic groups. Most recently, the Minister of State for South Asia, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, raised concerns on FoRB and the protection of minority religious communities with Dr Shireen Mazari, Pakistan's Human Right Minister, on 15 July. The UK High Commissioner to Pakistan raised the same concerns with Dr Mazari on 8 June. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan at senior levels to guarantee the fundamental rights of its citizens, regardless of their belief, in accordance with international standards.

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