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Pakistan

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on recent attacks on Christians in Pakistan. [122557]

We are very concerned about the attacks on Christians in Pakistan. In the last 12 months, we have received reports of four attacks on Christian institutions, which have claimed 20 lives. The latest attack was on 25 December 2002. The EU made clear its concerns on this and other human rights issues to the Pakistan authorities on 7 February 2003 and again on 23 June 2003. We will continue to urge Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of such attacks to justice and to pursue laws and practices to protect Christians and other religious minorities against discrimination, intimidation and attacks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Pakistan authorities on that Government's recent human rights record, with specific reference to employer treatment of domestic servants. [122558]

With our EU partners, we regularly engage the Pakistan authorities on Human Right issues. On 7 February 2003 the EU delivered a comprehensive demarche underlining its concerns on a wide range of human rights-related issues, including on specific individual cases. These concerns were reiterated on 23 June 2003. We have not had cause to raise the issue of domestic servants with the Pakistan authorities as no concrete evidence of human rights violations in this area has been presented to us.