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Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the Christian population of the North-West Province of Pakistan of the adoption of Sharia law. [108751]

It is too early to make an assessment. The North-West Frontier Province has yet to consider draft legislation proposing the adoption of Sharia law in the province. This law cannot be fully enacted until approved by the federal and provincial Parliaments. Together with our EU partners, we will continue to urge Pakistan to pursue laws and practices which foster tolerance and mutual respect and to protect Christians and other religious minorities against discrimination, intimidation and attacks.