Procedure : 2007/2603(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0283/2007

Texts tabled :

B6-0283/2007

Debates :

PV 11/07/2007 - 15
CRE 11/07/2007 - 15

Votes :

PV 12/07/2007 - 6.11
CRE 12/07/2007 - 6.11

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0351

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 94kWORD 52k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0279/2007
9 July 2007
PE 392.998v01-00
 
B6‑0283/2007
to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Pasqualina Napoletano and Robert Evans
on behalf of the PSE Group
on Pakistan

European Parliament resolution on Pakistan 
B6‑0283/2007

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Co-operation Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Partnership and Development of 24 November 2001, (also referred to as the third generation Co-operation Agreement), in particular Article 1 of the agreement, which stipulates that 'respect for human rights and democratic principles...constitutes an essential element of this agreement'(1),

–  having regard to the EU/Pakistan Joint Declaration of 8 February 2007 with regard to the 2004 Cooperation agreement, in which both sides undertake to develop a broad formalised political dialogue which includes, amongst others things, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, human rights and good governance,

–   having regard to the fact that parliamentary, provincial and presidential elections are due to be held later this year,

  having regard to the European Parliament’s SAARC delegation visit to Pakistan in December 2006 and the meeting held with General Musharraf in Lahore

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights and democracy in Pakistan, particular those of 10 February 2004(2) and 22 April 2004(3),

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas a series of constitutional amendments under the Musharraf administration have substantially altered the political system in Pakistan and succeeded in transforming the system of governance from a parliamentary to a presidential one, where the President has the power to overrule or to dismiss parliament,

B.  whereas the military and the secret service continue to exert a strong influence in politics, government and in the economy of Pakistan, a situation which runs contrary to the principle of the roadmap for the restoration of democracy, whereby it was envisaged that power would be transferred from the military back to a civilian administration,

C.  whereas recent events, including the suspension of the Chief Justice of Pakistan on 9 March on as yet unproven charges of misconduct and the continuing popular protests that have been sparked by this action, have increased the urgency of addressing the issue of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan,

D.  whereas the latest clashes in and around the Red Mosque, which have resulted in a high death toll, are a clear demonstration of the power of the radical Islamism movement, against which President Musharraf has failed to react quickly or decisively enough;

E.  whereas the European Union provides significant funding to Pakistan for poverty alleviation and social-sector development;

1.  Urges the Government of Pakistan to return to democratic government by holding free, fair and democratic elections by the end of the year, and warns against the imposition of emergency rule or other measures to suppress freedom of speech, association, assembly or movement;

2.  Encourages President Musharraf to respect the constitution by allowing the new assemblies to hold presidential elections and by relinquishing his post of army chief;

3.  Urges the Pakistani army to allow a return to democracy through free and fair elections, including the possibility for exiled political leaders to return to Pakistan; calls for measures to be taken to limit the influence of the military and other armed groups on the political process;

4.  Welcomes the fact that the EU will monitor the legislative elections in Pakistan and that the EP will participate in the observer mission; is concerned however, about a number of aspects in the run-up to these elections, in particular;

   -the neutrality of the caretaker government which will be formed three months before the elections, and will be appointed by President Musharraf;
   -the fact that a bachelor's degree is requested as a precondition for candidature, which will exclude 70% of Pakistani women from standing for election. Furthermore, it is unacceptable that a Madrasa degree is considered equivalent to a bachelor's degree;
   -the lack of legitimacy of the future President of Pakistan if he is to be elected by the outgoing Assembly;

5.  Calls upon the Council and the Commission to deliver a clear message to President Musharraf that a transition to democratic rule is the only acceptable way out of the current crisis;

6.   Urges the Council and the Commission to take a firm stand on upholding the democracy and human rights clause in its agreements with Pakistan and calls for an intensive political dialogue on human rights and good governance;

7. Calls for the strengthening of democratic institutions and a return to civilian rule in Pakistan, in line with previous commitments made by President Musharraf;

8.  Is deeply concerned about the suspension of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on alleged charges of misconduct, which was widely regarded as an attempt by the government to maintain control over the judiciary in an election year; calls for the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law to be respected, urges the government of Pakistan to take appropriate steps to reverse the current negative trend in relation to this and to refrain from any political interference in the case currently being heard in the Supreme Court;

9.  Greatly regrets the deaths of 41 civilians during political demonstrations in Karachi on 12 May and condemns the use of force to achieve political ends, whether perpetrated by government allied forces or by members of opposition political parties;

10.  Is deeply concerned for the safety of the 1800 or more people currently believed to be in the Red Mosque and urges the Government of Pakistan to do all it can to end the siege without further loss of life;

11.  Is equally concerned about reports that three Chinese workers have been shot dead by suspected Islamic militants in Peshawar in a possible link to the Red Mosque siege;

12.   Condemns all attempts by the government to control media freedom, by introducing amendments to broadcasting licences, restricting the live broadcasting of outdoor events and issuing government directives to media and broadcasting associations; condemns all forms of threat, coercion and intimidation of journalists and broadcasters;

13.   Is concerned by the numerous well-documented cases of 'disappearances' which have involved terrorist suspects, journalists, students, members of Baloch nationalist movements and other political activists; strongly emphasises that abductions, extra-judicial killings and imprisonment without trial are contrary to fundamental principles of international law, including the right to life and rights of due process;

14.  Is concerned that while President Musharraf has pledged his commitment to tackling terrorism and extremism at an international level, the domestic political alliances that exist between the government, the military and religious fundamentalists may hamper the ability of the government to address the issue of extremism and fundamentalism;

15.   Is concerned at the increasing instability and proliferation of insurgency-related violence in the tribal areas, particularly in Waziristan, and notes in particular the occurrence of a number of suicide bombings, including the attempt on the life of the Interior Minister in Peshawar on 28 April;

16.   Calls for increased dialogue with provincial and local leaders on the possibility of greater provincial autonomy or for increased representation of the interests of the provinces at national level; condemns the government's repressive policies in Balochistan, where there are continuing demands for greater provincial autonomy and increased regional control over the substantial natural resources of this area;

17.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and the government of Pakistan.

(1) OJ C17, 22.01.1999, p. 6.
(2) OJ C97E, 22.04.2004, p. 112.
(3) OJ C104E, 30.04.2004, p. 1040.

Last updated: 10 July 2007Legal notice