Maria Shahbaz

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 25th September 2020.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Pakistani Government about the welfare of Maria Shahbaz, the 14-year-old Christian girl who was kidnapped and forcibly married and converted to Islam in Faisalabad in April 2020.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are closely monitoring Maira Shahbaz's case following her reported abduction in April. The UK Government strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girl's rights and gender equality with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. Most recently, on 27 August, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon raised our human rights concerns including Freedom of Religion of Belief with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari. In addition, on 8 September, Lord Ahmad discussed Freedom of Religion Belief with the Governor of Punjab.

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