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Gillian Merron: According to statistics from the non-governmental organization, Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo, there were 94 extrajudicial killings in Guatemala, in the first nine months of 2008. Against the countrys overall murder rate, official statistics show to date, 3,621 murders in 2008 and 5,000 in the previous year, of which fewer than 3 per cent. of the perpetrators brought to justice.
President Colom, who came to power in January 2008, has taken steps to address these high levels of violent crime and impunity. He replaced the Minister of the Interior, the Attorney General and most recently, the Director and Deputy Director of the National Police. The new Director of Police is working to purge the service of officers linked to corruption and organised crime. The British embassy in Guatemala City supports these efforts, and the work of the UN-sponsored International Commission on Corruption and Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) which recently completed its first year of activities.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Indian Government on the alleged persecution of Christians in Orissa state; and if he will make a statement. 
We are deeply concerned by the recent reports of attacks against Christians in Orissa. There can be no justification for such violent attacks against innocent people. On 1 October, my noble Friend the Minister of State for Asia, Africa and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown raised the matter with the Indian High Commissioner and on 17 October he raised it in Delhi
with the Minister of External Affairs, Arnand Sharma. He also used his recent visit to India to raise it with the chairman of the Minorities Commission, Mr. Mohammed Quereshi. We understand that the Indian Government fully recognise the seriousness of these incidents and are engaged with the Orissa State authorities in restoring law and order to that region.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of terrorist attacks in India over the last 12 months, broken down by (a) location and (b) community affected. 
23 November 2007: Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, killing 13 people
13 May 2008: Jaipur, killing 80
25 July 2008: Bangalore, killing two
26 July 2008: Ahmedabad, killing 49
13 September 2008: Delhi, five serial bomb blasts killed at least 23 and injured over 100
27 September 2008: South Delhi, killing two and injuring two dozen
29 September 2008: Modasa (Gujarat), and Malegaon (Maharashtra), killing four and injuring 51
1 October 2008: Agartala (Tripura), injuring 50
There have been several other low-level attacks in India over the last 12 months. Notably, Naxalite activity has registered consistently high levels of violence in recent years, averaging around 1,500 incidents and 800 deaths each year since 2003. These are higher casualty figures than for Jammu and Kashmir and the insurgencies in Northeast India.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support the Government is providing to India to assist counter-terrorism activities in India; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The UK and India enjoy a close working relationship on countering terrorism and extremism. This is underpinned by Prime Ministerial agreement at annual UK/India summits to work together in specific areas.
At the most recent summit in January we agreed to intensify practical co-operation and the sharing of experience in the fight against terrorism. We have agreed to build on existing co-operation, including in the protection of critical national infrastructure, mass transit systems and the security of major sporting events including the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the London 2012 Olympics. In addition, we have agreed to expand co-operation on civil aviation security and crisis management, and to establish a new bilateral dialogue on terrorist financing. Practical work is now being taken forward across the UK and Indian Governments. We expect to further strengthen this co-operation through a meeting of the Indo-UK Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism later this year.
Multilaterally, the UK and India remain committed to pursuing an agreement in the UN on the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism. The UK continues to support Indias request for full membership of the Financial Action Task Force.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what mechanisms are in place for co-operation with the Indian Government on intelligence relating to (a) the causes of and (b) the perpetrators of terrorism in India. 
We value our co-operation with India across a range of counter-terrorism issues and we expect to further strengthen co-operation through a meeting of the Indo-UK Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism later this year.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) projected and (b) maximum number of investigations and trials is the International Criminal Court could undertake under its present budget and strategic plans. 
Gillian Merron: The Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC) draws up a budget for each calendar year for approval by States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC. The budget is prepared on the basis of assumptions about the level of activity for the following year. The overall budget for 2008 of €90.4 million was drawn up on the expectation that at least one trial would take place; and that the Office of the Prosecutor would continue to pursue investigations in four situations (relating to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Uganda and Sudan/Darfur). Following the arrest and surrender of two further individuals to the ICC, the Registrar sought permission, in accordance with the ICC Financial Regulations and Rules, to use the courts contingency fund to meet the unforecast costs relating to a second trial in 2008. This was approved but, as the first trial has now been delayed, the costs for that second trial are likely to be met within the existing 2008 budget.
The budget for 2009 has not yet been finalised, but the court will base its planned expenditure on the assumptions that: two trials will take place consecutively; there will be some pre-trial activities for a third; and the Prosecutor will continue investigations in three of the situations currently before the court, with no new investigations envisaged.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the list of banks domiciled in Iran, including their branches and subsidiaries abroad, that was distributed to UN Security Council members by the United Kingdom, the United States and France on 1 August. 
Gillian Merron: Kenya has returned to stability following the violence earlier this year that arose from the disputed December 2007 elections. The new Grand Coalition Government has made some progress towards implementing the agenda for reform agreed by all parties during Kofi Annans mediation process. Achieving the agreed benchmarks for reform along with early steps to tackle the issues that underlay the violence, such as poverty, inequality and impunity, will ensure confidence in a commitment to the process. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said after meeting Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on 23 July 2008, we welcome the commitment of the political parties in Kenya to power-sharing and their efforts to live up to the expectations of the Kenyan people. The Government, with their international partners, are working to assist Kenya with their reform agenda in the pursuit of longer-term stability and growth, and to prevent such violence recurring.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps the Government have taken to assist the Government of Pakistan in reducing the incidence of extremism in that country. 
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister discussed the problem of extremism in Pakistan with President Zardari on 16 September. He offered Pakistan the UK's full support, including through support for development, capacity-building and counter-terrorism cooperation.
We continue to work with Pakistan to help tackle the serious development, security and economic problems that Pakistan faces. The UK and Pakistan have a broad programme of counter-terrorism cooperation. This includes providing operational support in key law enforcement and prosecuting agencies. We will also be doubling development spending in Pakistan to £480 million over the next three years to help strengthen democratic institutions, promote good governance, provide better quality education and increase health care provision. This assistance should also help to address some of the underlying causes of radicalisation.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of incidents involving the alleged persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan; and when he last raised the subject with the Government of Pakistan. 
Bill Rammell: Members of the Ahmadiyya community in the United Kingdom recently informed us about comments made on a popular Pakistani television programme inciting violence against their community. Within several days, two prominent members of the Ahmadiyya community in Karachi were killed. Our deputy high commission in Karachi discussed this with the provincial Sindh Government, who are investigating the broadcast.
With our EU partners, we regularly raise concerns about the treatment of all minority groups with the Government of Pakistan. The last specific intervention by the EU on the persecution of the Ahmaddiya community took place in July.
Gillian Merron: We note that the latest report, published on 3 October 2007, of the UN Panel of Exports (which monitors the UN arms embargo) identified violations of the embargo. The UK continues to request that the UN extend its arms embargo on Darfur to all of Sudan, but not all Security Council members agree.
Gillian Merron: In its latest report of 3 October 2007, the UN Panel of Experts (which was established by UN Security Council Resolution 1591 to monitor the arms embargo on Darfur) assessed that violations of the arms embargo continued, both by the Government of Sudan and non-State armed groups, during the period of the report (29 September 2006 to 29 August 2007). The Panel reported that heavy weapons (artillery pieces), small arms, ammunition and other military equipment were entering Darfur from other countries. The Panel further reported that the Government of Sudan had not submitted the necessary requests of approval to the UN to enable the movement of weapons, ammunition or other military equipment into Darfur, thereby knowingly violating the provisions of the Resolution.
The UK continues to request that the UN extend its arms embargo on Darfur to all of Sudan, but not all Security Council members agree. The EU has implemented an arms embargo on the whole of Sudan via Common Position 2005/411/CFSP.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government have taken to facilitate free and fair elections in Sudan as outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. 
Gillian Merron: As Chair of the donor working group on elections in Khartoum, we work with other donors and the UN to lobby the Government of Sudan to amend key legislation on national security, the media and political parties to create an environment for free and fair elections.
The UK has supported civic education and media training programmes since late 2007. We will contribute an initial £1.5 million to the UN elections programme to fund civic and voter education, civil society training, and training for electoral staff.
Gillian Merron: We are not currently proposing a no-fly zone for Darfur. We assess that a no-fly zone would restrict essential humanitarian operations and be a major logistical challenge due to the size of Darfur and the lack of available air assets. The UN-African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is mandated to monitor military activity, including flights prohibited by UN Security Council Resolution 1591. We continue to press all parties for the rapid and full deployment of UNAMID.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Russian Government and (b) the Chinese Government on the political and security situation in Darfur. 
We have regular discussions with the officials of the Russian and Chinese Governments about Darfur. We have urged them to support the effective deployment of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur and to use their influence with the Government of Sudan to press Sudan to fulfil its commitments and end the violence.
Gillian Merron: The new UN-African Union Chief Mediator for the Darfur political process, Djibril Bassolé, former Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso, arrived in Sudan on 28 August. This is a welcome step in renewing the Darfur political process. We stand ready to support him in his efforts to reinvigorate the peace process.
Following the application by the International Criminal Court's Prosecutor for an arrest warrant for President Bashir on 14 July, the Government of Sudan announced plans for a "Sudan People's Initiative" on Darfur which held its first meeting on 16 October. The Government of Qatar and the Arab League have also announced that they want to work on a peace initiative for Darfur. We hope these initiatives will support the efforts of the UN-African Union Chief Mediator and lead to a sustainable peace.
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