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Pakistan: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan

Volume 719: debated on Tuesday 6 September 2022

3. Whether she has had discussions with her counterpart in Pakistan on the charging of former Prime Minister Imran Khan under terrorism legislation in that country. (901303)

The British High Commission in Islamabad is closely monitoring the situation regarding the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, but any decision to progress charges would be a matter for Pakistan’s judicial system. At this time of terrible tragedy for the people of Pakistan, we do welcome the call from all across the political spectrum and divide to set aside their differences and work together on the flood response.

I welcome the Minister’s words, because this is a moment of real political upheaval amid one of the worst humanitarian disasters in Pakistan’s history—more than 30 million people are now displaced or impacted. I would like us not only to press all diplomatic channels for a fair and transparent process regarding the former Prime Minister of Pakistan but, more importantly, to increase the paltry £1.5 million of aid that we have committed to help Pakistan at a time of such disaster, given that we have such strong bilateral relations between our countries, and not just in constituencies such as Ilford South but right across the country.

This is a terrible tragedy with massive humanitarian consequences for the people of Pakistan. The UK was the first country in the world to announce its own financial assistance, and of course we increased that significantly in our announcement of a further £15 million on Friday. This means that the UK is already supplying more than 10% of the immediate assistance that the Pakistan Government and the United Nations have called for, and a further appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee was launched on Friday.

Following on from the point that the hon. Member for Ilford South (Sam Tarry) made about flooding, as the Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Pakistan—

Order. Although flooding matters, this question really is about terrorism. I know that we will have other questions on that, when I think Members will wish to catch my eye.