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Procedure : 2007/2647(RSP)
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PV 25/10/2007 - 13.2
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PV 25/10/2007 - 14.2

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Texts adopted
WORD 41k
Thursday, 25 October 2007 - Strasbourg Final edition
P6_TA(2007)0489B6-0409, 0414, 0417 and 0420/2007

European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2007 on Pakistan

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Pakistan, in particular its resolution of 12 July 2007(1) ,

–   having regard to the Cooperation Agreement of 24 November 2001 between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Partnership and Development,

–   having regard to its resolution of 24 May 2007 on Kashmir(2) ,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas Benazir Bhutto, the Life Chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) returned to Pakistan on 18 October 2007; whereas Mrs Bhutto's return to Karachi was marked by a horrific bomb attack which resulted in the deaths of more than 130 people and the injuring of more than 500 people; and whereas the already fragile pre-electoral climate in Pakistan has been further inflamed by this attack,

B.   whereas an attempt by Nawaz Sharif, President of the Pakistan Muslim League, to return to Pakistan also failed, as he was forced to leave the country immediately on arrival,

C.   whereas there are clear signs of a militarisation of Pakistan and a growing role for the secret services, who continue to exert a very considerable influence on the politics, government and economy of Pakistan,

D.   whereas the current parliamentary term ends on 15 November 2007 and general elections have been announced in Pakistan for mid-January 2008,

E.   whereas the restoration of democracy requires power to be transferred back to a civilian government,

F.   whereas on 17 October 2007 the Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed its hearing on the question of whether the election of President Musharraf was constitutional, and is expected to give its ruling shortly,

G.   whereas the European Union provides significant funding to Pakistan for poverty alleviation, health and state education,

1.  Strongly condemns the suicide bombing attack against the opposition leader and civilians; demands that the government of Pakistan take immediate action to pursue a thorough and independent investigation into this attack in order to bring all those responsible to trial;

2.  Extends its deepest sympathy to the people of Pakistan and especially to the families of all those killed and injured by this despicable act;

3.  Reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Pakistan who share the objectives of democratic governance and transparent, accountable rule and who act with courage and determination in the face of terrorist and criminal violence;

4.  Urges Pakistan to uphold all the principles enshrined in the above-mentioned Cooperation Agreement, in particular the democracy and human rights clause;

5.  Strongly condemns the forced departure of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia on 10 September 2007 despite a ruling by Pakistan's Supreme Court allowing his return to Pakistan;

6.  Asks the government of Pakistan, as a pre-condition for democratic elections, to allow the return of all political leaders to counter the extremist forces in the country and contribute to establishing a legitimate government through free and fair elections, replacing the current military dictatorship;

7.  Reiterates its demand that the caretaker government to be put in place must be neutral and again expresses its concern about the fact that the composition of the caretaker government is to be decided by President Musharraf alone;

8.  Deplores certain recent High Court cases in Pakistan which give rise to serious concerns about the lack of rule of law; calls on the government of Pakistan to refrain from political interference and to respect the independence of the judiciary;

9.  Deplores President Musharraf's failure to relinquish his post of Chief of Army Staff before standing as a candidate and being elected president, which he had previously agreed to do in an undertaking to the EU; reiterates its demand that he should do so before taking office; notes that his failure to act has had a negative effect on the credibility of the Presidency in Pakistan;

10.  Condemns the arbitrary arrest of members of the opposition when they criticised President Musharraf and urges the government to accept and implement the Supreme Court's directive to put an end to the disappearances of political opponents;

11.  Urges that Pakistan returns to democratic government by holding free, fair and transparent elections in January 2008 and warns against the imposition of emergency rule or other measures to suppress freedom of speech, association, assembly or movement; urges the government of Pakistan to provide all parties with equal access to the media;

12.  Urges Pakistan to take immediate action to restrict the influence of the military in society as a whole; calls on the Pakistani Government to respect a transition to civilian rule and to strengthen democratic institutions as the only possible way to answer the challenges in Pakistani society; urges the government again to limit the role and influence of the military and other armed groups and to return power to democratic institutions;

13.  Is concerned about the reports of ongoing oppression of religious minorities such as Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis and the use of blasphemy laws against them;

14.  Calls for the government of Pakistan to take immediate action to cease such religious-based repression and to ensure the integrity and safety of all minorities by granting them genuine and effective legal and political protection; calls for Pakistan to reform its blasphemy laws, which are so widely misused; urges the government of Pakistan to provide proper protection for lawyers and human rights defenders facing threats for defending those accused of blasphemy; urges the government of Pakistan to provide proper protection for vulnerable religious and other minority communities facing threats of forced conversion and violent intimidation from extremists;

15.  Calls on the Pakistani authorities to repeal the Hudood Ordinances, which have led to the imprisonment of hundreds of women;

16.  Welcomes the fact that the EU will monitor the parliamentary elections in Pakistan and that Parliament will participate in the observer mission; is concerned at the possibility of Pakistani women not being able to participate fully in the democratic process due to an academic qualification being required as a precondition for standing for election, which will exclude 70% of Pakistani women; calls for the removal of this restriction;

17.  Recognises the efforts Pakistan is making to resist the rise of terrorist groups; regrets that the settlement reached to prevent further conflict in Northern Waziristan was not successful; calls on the government to combat renewed insurgency-related violence through proportionate measures and to impose the rule of law and extend civil and political rights to this area;

18.  Demands, with particular regard to the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan, that the military refrain from supporting Islamist parties in a bid to counter secular Baloch and moderate Pashtun forces; further demands the release of all political prisoners, including those in the unlawful custody of intelligence agencies;

19.  Stresses the importance of universal access to state education and effective monitoring of the madrassas to prevent control by extremists; calls on the government of Pakistan to implement its previous undertaking with regard to the attendance of foreign students at the madrassas;

20.  Asks the Member States fully to respect the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports;

21.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the government of Pakistan.

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0351.
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0214.

Last updated: 15 August 2008Legal notice