Lahore Bomb on Easter Sunday (Christians in Pakistan)

The Foreign Secretary and the rest of the Government have condemned the senseless attack on Easter Sunday in the strongest terms. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. The UK continues to provide support and assistance to the Government of Pakistan as they work to defeat those who plan and perpetrate these acts of terror. The UK and Pakistan share a commitment to defeating extremism. The Government strongly supports Pakistan's efforts to tackle terrorism and the extremism that sustains it.

The Government is firmly committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief around the world, and to being a strong voice internationally in defence of this fundamental right. The FCO recently announced funding of £10.6 million for the 2016/17 Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy. Bids for projects focused on promoting freedom of religion or belief are strongly encouraged.

The Government remains concerned about the persecution of religious and other minorities in Pakistan, including Christians. The FCO regularly raises its concerns about religious freedom and human rights with their counterparts in Pakistan, and urges the Pakistani Government to meet its international obligations on human rights.

The Government regularly makes known, to the Pakistani Government at a senior level, its concerns about the misuse of blasphemy laws against both Muslims and religious minorities in Pakistan.

The Pakistani Government has publicly recognised the problems facing minorities, and the need to being an end to religious persecution. The UK remains fully committed to working in partnership with them to achieve this.