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Pakistan: Politics and Government

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to urge the Pakistani authorities to address extremism and threats to religious minorities. (142717)

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and President Musharraf reiterated in their joint declaration in November 2006, the UK and Pakistan share a common agenda to promote enlightened moderation and to combat the forces of extremism. To this end, the two leaders agreed to support civil society and youth interaction between Pakistan and the UK. We fully appreciate the personal risks taken by President Musharraf when he took his position against extremism.

Bilaterally and together with EU partners, we continue to regularly raise our concerns with the government of Pakistan over the situation of religious minorities. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade (Mr. McCartney) also raised this issue in correspondence with the Pakistani Prime Minister in February.