HC Deb 22 April 1987 vol 114 cc656-7
6. Mr. Spencer

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with Pakistan.

Mr. Eggar

We have warm and friendly relations with Pakistan. At the invitation of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister of Pakistan paid a successful official visit to Britain from 5 to 9 April.

Mr. Spencer

Does my hon. Friend agree that the help that is being given by the Pakistan people and Government to the 3 million Afghan refugees is not only worthy of our highest praise but justifies further support from this country?

Mr. Eggar

I entirely agree with my hon. and learned Friend. The assistance given to the Afghan refugees by the Government and people of Pakistan is beyond praise. They have paid a considerable price for the assistance that they have given, and I am sure that the whole House recognises that.

Mr. Foot

When the Prime Minister of Pakistan came to this country the other day, did the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary take the opportunity to stress to him how strongly opposed the British Government must be to the development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan, particularly in the light of representations that have come from the Indian Government and other Governments in Asia on this subject? Do the Government not think that it is rather invidious to preach non-proliferation in Asia while we are seeking to uphold the existence of nuclear weapons in Europe? Are we not absolutely committed to the non-proliferation treaty, and was that matter discussed with the Pakistan Government?

Mr. Eggar

Both my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary raised our concern about recent reports of the possible development of nuclear weapons in Pakistan. The Prime Minister of Pakistan gave assurances that Pakistan's nuclear programme was peaceful and for civil purposes only.

Mr. Tom Clarke

During the meeting of the two Prime Ministers, did our Prime Minister, consistent with her meeting with Mr. Gorbachev, raise the question of the abuse of human rights? If so, what representations did she make?

Mr. Eggar

The question of the Ahmadis was raised, as were the cases of one or two individuals.

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