January 2014 – Questions on the Death penalty and the Persecution of Ahmadis
Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the decision on 4 December 2013 of the Federal Sharia Court in Pakistan to require the death sentence for anyone convicted under that country’s blasphemy laws; and what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan about the matter.[HL4812]
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), raised the issue of the death penalty in Pakistan with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his national security adviser during his last visit to Pakistan. I have personally made clear the United Kingdom’s longstanding opposition to the death penalty at the highest levels in Pakistan in all circumstances. We also continue to raise the issue of the blasphemy laws on a regular basis at a senior level with the authorities in Pakistan.
Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool: January 28th 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Pakistan has made to the government of Pakistan about the imprisonment of the British national Mr Masud Ahmad; and what response they have received.[HL4813]
Baroness Warsi: I raised this case when I met with the Pakistani High Commissioner on 22 January. I stressed the importance of Mr Ahmad’s case being handled transparently and properly. We will be in contact with the Pakistani High Commissioner for an update on these discussions.
28 Jan 2014 : Column WA222
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not normally provide consular assistance to dual nationals in the country of their second nationality. However, there are certain exceptions, for example, where there are special humanitarian reasons for doing so. Our consular team in Islamabad have visited Mr Ahmad and have also made our position on blasphemy known to the Pakistani authorities. We will continue to monitor Mr Ahmad’s case and visit him regularly.
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