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Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Canada on protecting the wreck of HMS Fantome from treasure hunting. 
The high commission in Ottawa, in consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for Culture Media and Sport, and the Ministry of Defence are discussing the issue of HMS Fantome with the Nova Scotian authorities with a view to ensuring that the wreck is accorded the proper protection it deserves in accordance with international law.
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David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Pakistan concerning the treatment of Christian Pakistanis. 
Dr. Howells: We condemn instances where individuals are persecuted because of their faith whenever it happens, and whatever the religion of the individual or group concerned. We make regular representations to the Government of Pakistan on this issue, both through bilateral lobbying and working with our EU partners. This was last raised through bilateral representations and through an EU demarche in December.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received concerning the treatment of Christians living in (a) India and (b) Pakistan. 
Dr. Howells: We are regularly in touch with members of the Church, non-governmental organisations, and Government officials regarding the treatment of Christians, and other minority groups, in both Pakistan and India. We also receive regular correspondence from Members of Parliament and the public on this issue.
Dr. Howells: We share your concern about the treatment of Christians in certain parts of India. Our High Commission in New Delhi continue to monitor the situation in respect of Christians and other minority groups, with staff making regular calls on Minorities Commission, National Human Rights Commission and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commissions flagging up our concern about incidents of religious intolerance.
Our Deputy High Commissioner sought a call on the National Minorities Commission on 7 February to raise a number of issues including attacks on Christians and other minority groups. Unfortunately this meeting was cancelled. The UK as Presidency of the European Union, also raised this issue during a human rights dialogue with Indian Government officials in Delhi on 1 December.
Details of the costs of Christmas cards sent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are held by individual Departments and overseas posts. To ask each budget holder to estimate expenditure for cards sent in 2005 would incur disproportionate costs.
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Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK believes cluster munitions should be usedas the UK doesin accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law. To this end the UK has, along with other countries, initiated a questionnaire for State Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons on how they apply international humanitarian law in armed conflict in using cluster and other munitions.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Colombia has long had the relevant democratic institutions in place to promote the rule of law. The internal armed conflict has tested these severely. We have made plain our firm belief that the rule of law, including human rights and international humanitarian law, must be observed by all state actors at all times. We are concerned at the apparent impunity from the rule of law of some of those alleged to be responsible for serious violations of human rights. We have made clear to the Colombian Government that the law must be applied fairly and impartially to all citizens. Measures we have funded to help to strengthen the rule of law in Colombia include projects to address military and judicial reform and to bolster the role of civil society.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: We have consistently maintained that a solution to the armed conflict in Colombia can only be achieved through a negotiated settlement between the illegal armed groups and the Colombian Government. We have called for the illegal armed groups to refrain from violence, to release the hostages they hold and to engage in talks with the Government. We have been funding training within the armed forces to improve human rights awareness, and have supported projects to strengthen the protection available to vulnerable communities and to improve the state's ability to monitor assistance and support given to displaced populations.
The EU General Affairs and External Relations Council Conclusions of October 2005 set out the steps the EU is willing to take to facilitate the search for peace in Colombia. These include support to communities affected by the internal conflict, victims groups, local reconciliation activities, and the integration into society of former child soldiers, complementing existing programmes developed by United Nations Children's Fund and others.
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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken by his Department to support victims of violence and human rights abuses in Colombia. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: One of the principal objectives of our embassy in Bogota is to promote human rights in Colombia, working with our partners. We regularly draw to the attention of the Colombian authorities specific human rights cases. We also support a range of projects aimed at improving human rights. These include training for judges in international humanitarian law, work to combat the sexual abuse of children, and help to build up the state's human rights alert mechanisms. We also actively support the role of civil society in seeking to address the country's problems. The EU has made it plain in the General Affairs and External Relations Council Conclusions of October 2005 that the rights of victims of the internal armed conflict must be respected in the search for a solution. Human rights will remain at the heart of our policy towards Colombia.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The elections to the Colombian Senate in March will be an important demonstration of the strength of democracy in Colombia. We are encouraged at the registration of candidates for both houses of the Senate representing a wide range of political views.
However, we are also concerned at the many reports that in some parts of Colombia people are seeking to influence the election campaign and the election outcome by undemocratic means. We urge all parties and persons involved in the election process to ensure that the campaign and voting on election day are free and fair. We welcome the intention of the Organisation of American States and others to monitor the process.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Torture is a serious problem in Colombia, a country that has suffered from over 40 years of internal armed conflict which causes serious human rights abuses, internal displacement of the civilian population and poverty. A significant driver of the conflict is the trade in illegal drugs. Illegal armed groups are responsible for many cases of torture. We are aware that there are also allegations of torture by the Colombian security forces. We regularly bring to the attention of the Colombian government specific human rights cases, including where torture is suspected, and will continue to do so. Where there is credible evidence of wrong-doing, the Colombian government is obliged to take appropriate action.
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