Skip to main content

British Citizens (Pakistan)

Volume 522: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2011

16. What recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in Pakistan on the deaths of British citizens in that country; and if he will make a statement. (37156)

I met the high commissioner of Pakistan yesterday to discuss with him a number of cases that have been raised by hon. Members during the course of this year about UK residents who, sadly, have been killed in Pakistan. The United Kingdom expects the very best attention to ensure that justice is done in all these cases, and I appreciated the high commissioner’s interest and willingness to assist.

The Minister will be aware of the representations that I have made on behalf of a constituent, Ms Ashiq, and the challenges that her family has faced since her father was murdered in Pakistan in June 2009 in securing information and responses from the authorities about their efforts to apprehend and prosecute his killers. I know that the Minister has raised these issues with the Pakistan authorities, which are keen to be helpful, but will he update the House on what steps he has taken to ensure that his officials play an active role in helping the families of British citizens who are killed abroad to receive the appropriate support and assistance from our consulates?

Sadly, during the course of the past year, 12 UK residents have been killed in Pakistan, mostly involving family or property disputes. I have taken the opportunity raised by those cases to ensure that our post understands full well the concerns that are raised by families and Members of Parliament here, and that we do all that we can with the authorities in trying to find out information and ensure justice. There is a limit to what we can do. Pakistan is a sovereign country with a sovereign criminal system, but our consular authorities do as much as they possibly can. I welcome the assistance and intervention of the high commissioner, which might lead to continued pressure being applied on the authorities to do even more, and I hope that the hon. Lady has a successful visit to Pakistan shortly with colleagues to see what more can be done there.