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Volume 513: debated on Wednesday 7 July 2010

1. What aid his Department has provided for economic development and good governance in Pakistan in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (6261)

In the last 12 months, my Department has provided aid to Pakistan to help to put more children into school, improve macro-economic stability and support the efficient and effective delivery of basic services.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Oxfam has said that 1 million Pakistanis fleeing from fighting remain in overcrowded camps and depend on emergency relief to survive. What is being done to help internally displaced persons and refugees in Pakistan?

My hon. Friend is right to identify that particular problem in Pakistan, and it was one of the problems I specifically looked at when I was in Pakistan some three weeks ago. My hon. Friend will know from his own very close relationship with members of the Pakistani diaspora in Britain that, as the Oxfam report makes clear, extensive work is being done in all the affected regions of Pakistan, but we are looking at our whole programme to see whether there is anything more we can do.

Does the Secretary of State agree that, although the aid for Pakistan is welcome, the Pakistani authorities must realise that the appalling murder, persecution and torture of the Ahmadiyya Muslims in Lahore, with the complicity of the authorities, must cease?

The hon. Gentleman is a Birmingham Member of Parliament, as am I, and, like me, he will have received representations from the diaspora in Birmingham on that specific point. I had the chance to visit Lahore in January, and I will carefully consider what he has said and see whether additional action is required.