Bishop of St Albans asks if Government will pressure Pakistan on blasphemy laws after Asia Bibi case

On 20th November 2018 Lord Alton asked the Government ‘what response they have made to requests to assist in the (1) safe passage and resettlement of, and (2) granting of asylum to Asia Bibi and her family.’ The Bishop of St Albans asked a follow up question:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con): Noble Lords can draw their own conclusions in this situation, but our prime concern is the safety and security of Asia Bibi and her family and we want a swift resolution of the situation. As I said earlier, I do not want to comment further because I do not want any individual or their family members to be put in danger.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the Minister is in a very difficult position because the Government feel unable to speak. However, it is not just Christians who are suffering from these blasphemy laws but other groups of Muslims and other religious minorities. What efforts are Her Majesty’s Government making to put pressure on the Pakistani Government to ensure that these blasphemy laws do not continue unjustly to affect these communities?

Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, as I said to the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, we continue to urge all countries to guarantee the rights of all citizens in accordance with international standards. Our current position on minorities in Pakistan is set out in the Home Office country policy and the information note that we published, Pakistan: Christians and Christian Converts, which provides background, but it is important that each case involving asylum is considered on its individual facts and merits.


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