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Pakistan: Politics and Government

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Pakistan on the implications of the recent agreement between the Government of Pakistan and militants in the Malakand region of the Swat Valley for (a) the security situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan and (b) human rights in the Malakand region; and if he will make a statement. (271011)

I last discussed the broader political and security situation in North West Frontier Province with Prime Minister Zardari on Friday 24 April 2009, and with Foreign Minister Qureshi on Saturday 25 April. My officials have repeatedly raised the situation in Malakand with the Government of Pakistan, and have expressed our concerns about the recent agreement with militants, which has not led to lasting security in Pakistan, and also has implications for regional security. We are also concerned about reports of human rights abuses by militants in Swat. We welcome the Government of Pakistan's commitment to fight back against violent extremism. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has presented to Parliament the UK policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan (29 April 2009, Official Report, column 869) and made clear that we will intensify our support to Pakistan's efforts to take stronger ownership of the problems of terrorism and violent extremism.