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Incitement to Violence

Volume 699: debated on Tuesday 19 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in the light of comments he made on 25 January, they have raised the issue of incitement to violence with the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf; and, if not, whether they intend to raise this matter with him or the Pakistani High Commissioner in the near future. [HL1882]

We have urged the Government of Pakistan to ensure that the media is free to report on the current political situation without restriction. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister reiterated this when he met President Musharraf during his recent visit. We have pressed for measures in the context of elections, including action to ensure that journalists are able to make public statements before the declaration of election results and to ensure that all media outlets are free to cover all aspects of the elections. We continue to monitor the situation closely, including through the EU Election Observer Mission, which will be reporting on the conduct of the elections.

International human rights standards recognise that the right to freedom of speech carries with it responsibilities for all. We acknowledge this in our human rights dialogue with Pakistan.