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Pakistan: Torture

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many allegations of torture of British citizens in Pakistan when General Pervez Musharraf was Chief of the Pakistan Army have been made to them; and what representations they have made to the Government of Pakistan about such allegations. [HL288]

Former General Musharraf was Chief of Army Staff from October 1998 to November 2007. From consular records we are aware of 11 British nationals who have alleged that they were either tortured or mistreated while in Pakistani custody during that period. However, there are constraints on our ability to search records of past consular cases, and this figure should not therefore be taken as definitive.

When appropriate and with the permission of the individual involved we can raise, and have raised, reports of mistreatment of British nationals in detention in Pakistan at a senior level with the Pakistani authorities, as, for example, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary did in September. As part of our bilateral relationship, the UK and Pakistan conduct a Joint Judicial Co-operation Working Group. This group aims to establish a formal mechanism committing both parties to facilitate promptly requests for access to their own nationals who are being held by the other country's authorities.