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Entschließungsantrag - B7-0275/2010Entschließungsantrag
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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on religious freedom in Pakistan


with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Véronique De Keyser, Adrian Severin, Hannes Swoboda, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Richard Howitt on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0271/2010

Verfahren : 2010/2663(RSP)
Werdegang im Plenum
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European Parliament resolution on religious freedom in Pakistan

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Pakistan,

- having regard to article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

- having regard to the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief,

- in view of the second EU-Pakistan Summit on 4 June 2010,

- having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas article 2 of the Constitution of Pakistan declares Islam to be the State religion and the Quran as the supreme law and source of guidance for legislation;

B. whereas under article 41, 2 of the Constitution, only a Muslim can become President and all oaths of office have to be taken in the name of Allah, independently of the office holders religious belief;

C. whereas article 260 of the Constitution differentiates between Muslims and non-Muslims, thereby facilitating and encouraging discrimination on the basis of religion;

D. whereas the blasphemy laws undermine the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution, such as the right to "profess, practice and propagate a religion" (article 20) and the "legitimate rights and interests of minorities" (article 26); whereas the death sentence or lifelong imprisonment are foreseen in the penal code in cases of blasphemy;

E. whereas the Pakistani justice system contributes to religiously motivated violence with the Hudood Ordinances, which are Islamic decrees enforced alongside the country's secular legal system;

F. whereas religious minorities are officially secured a 5% quota in federal jobs since 2009;

G. whereas in March 2005, Pakistan restored the discriminatory practice of including the religious identity of its citizens in all new passports;

H. whereas in practice religious minorities are systematically denied economic, social and cultural rights; whereas their land and properties including places of worship have been forcibly grabbed in a number of cases;

I. whereas minorities are not provided security by the State against physical attacks; kidnapping for ransom, rape, forcible marriage and forcible conversion to Islam are crimes which are regularly committed and often led off without investigation when committed by Muslims against citizens belonging to a minority religion;

J. whereas the situation of Ahmadis seems to be particularly worrisome:

- they are systematically prohibited from holding public gatherings

- their publications are banned from public sale on grounds of Maintenance of Public Order and the anti-terrorism clause

- they must officially denounce in writing the founder of the Ahmadi faith if they want to participate in the Hajj

- they have been systematically excluded from the voters list at the 2007 general elections and the Supreme Court directed the election commission of Pakistan in July 2007 to ensure registration of all eligible voters in the next electoral rolls;

- they have been the victims of violent incidents including targeted killings (11 murdered in 2009 and 7 since the beginning of 2010);

K. whereas the government of Pakistan appointed a spokesman for minorities, Member of the Pakistan Parliament Shahbaz Bhatti, as Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs in November 2008, while also elevating this position to cabinet level for the first time;

L. whereas on 25 December 2009, President Asif Ali Zardari reiterated the pledge of the Pakistan People's Party to uphold the rights of all minorities to be treated as equal citizens;

M. whereas the government of Pakistan has signed but not yet ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 1984 UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the optional protocol to CAT;

1. Takes note of the work on constitutional reform in Pakistan which is an important step towards a viable democracy and which contributes to strengthening the prerogatives of the National Assembly; invites the National Assembly and the government to delete the so-called Islamic clauses from the Constitution which are a legacy of former military dictator Zia-ul-Haq;

2. Notes that the Pakistani government envisages to reform its Blasphemy law in order to avoid its misuse by religiously motivated extremist groups; encourages Pakistan to decriminalize blasphemy and to repeal laws that discriminate against religious minorities;

3. Regrets that Pakistan's commitments to regulate investigations into allegations of blasphemy and apostasy, as agreed during the Human Rights' Council Universal Periodic Review in May 2008 has not led to any action so far;

4. Urges the Pakistani government to implement proposed reforms of the education system and to regulate Madrasas; Invites the Pakistani authorities to remove all propaganda of hatred, religious superiority and defamation of religion from the text books approved by the national curriculum wing of the Ministry of Education;

5. Urges the Pakistani authorities to take affirmative action in order to ensure the fulfilment of the 5% quota of the minorities in federal jobs and to take the necessary measures to enable those serving with the organs of the State to take oath of office in the name of their own religion;

6. Invites Council and Commission to include the Rights of Minorities in Pakistan in the agenda of the forthcoming summit with a view to initiating early reform of discriminatory blasphemy legislation;

7. Asks the Commission to initiate and support programmes to sensitise the law enforcement personnel on the rights of minorities and to ensure that the minorities have access to equal treatment and protection by the organs administering justice;

8. Invites the government of Pakistan to facilitate a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Mrs. Asma Jahangir, to Pakistan;

9. Asks the Pakistani authorities to fully implement the judgement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ensure registration of all eligible voters in the new electoral rolls;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, the governments and parliaments of the members states and the government and National Assembly of Pakistan.