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Motion for a resolution - B7-0277/2010Motion for a resolution

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

Marie-Christine Vergiat, Eva-Britt Svensson on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

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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 the EU-Pakistan Joint Statement of 17 June 2009, in which both sides underlined the importance of an integrated long-term strategy including social economic development and the rule of law; as well as acknowledging the significance of non-military means in countering terrorism,


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


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


a. whereas Pakistan has failed to protect individuals - particularly women, children, minorities - from violence, forced disappearances, and other human rights abuses committed in the home, in the community, and while in legal custody,

b. whereas Pakistan has failed to adequately protect religious minorities against widespread discrimination, harassment and targeted violence, including the Ahmadi minority; whereas in September 2009, two Ahmadi men, Abdul Manan Siddiqui, a doctor from Mirpurkhas, Sindh, and a 75-year-old trader, Sheikh Mohammad Yousaf from Nawabshah, Sindh, were shot dead by unknown persons days after a private TV channel had aired a contributor’s call to kill apostates and blasphemers as a religious duty; whereas no investigation is known to have been initiated,


c. whereas Pakistan has failed to ensure legal redress after human rights violations have occurred,


d.  whereas lawyers and human rights activists in Pakistan experience frequent death threats and harassment, and lawyers who defend blasphemy cases are especially vulnerable to such risks,


e. whereas the so called blasphemy laws gives space for misuse; whereas in 2009 seventy-six people were charged with blasphemy in 25 registered cases, including 17 people charged under section 295C Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) which carries the death sentence for insulting the name of the prophet Muhammad,


f. whereas Pakistan continues to impose the death penalty on persons convicted of crimes,


g. whereas since 9-11, individuals suspected of having links with “terrorist” organizations have been arbitrarily detained, denied access to lawyers, and turned over to U.S. custody or to the custody of their home country in violation of local and international law,


h. whereas recent military operations in North West Frontier Province, the Swat Valley and Waziristan, have resulted in the death and injury of civilians and the displacement of over two million people,


i. whereas armed groups have committed serious human rights abuses, including direct attacks on civilians, abduction, and hostage-taking, torture, and killings; whereas women and girls are frequent targets of abuse,


1. deeply deplores that the Council and the Commission close the eyes vis-à-vis the political realities in Pakistan; calls on them to give a clear signal that that basis for the continuation of the cooperation between the EU and Pakistan is

2.  rejects the new EU strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan which was adopted in autumn 2009; takes the view that it is not adequate for the complex situation in Pakistan;

3. expresses deep concern at the consequences of the war in Afghanistan for Pakistan in all its aspects; calls on the Pakistani government to learn the lessons from the situation in Afghanistan that solutions can not be found by military means;


4.  expresses deep concern at the human rights situation in Pakistan, including the problems of religious minorities; urges the Council and the Commission to take a firm stance in upholding the democracy and human rights clause in its agreements Pakistan, to seek an intense political dialogue on human and examine the possibility of setting up specific human rights dialogues and the establishment of specific human rights sub-committees as has been done in some other countries;

5. reject the readmission agreement with Pakistan, as all other readmission agreements;


6. calls on the Pakistani government to make the improvement of the human and democratic rights situation a priority of its policy agenda;


7. expresses its concern at the blasphemy laws; calls upon the government of Pakistan to repeal the blasphemy laws and, in the meantime, to implement amendments as suggested by the Federal Minister for Minority Affairs


8. Expresses its concern at the ongoing discrimination against and persecution of the religious minorities, including the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan;


9. supports all initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual respect between communities; calls on political and religious authorities to promote tolerance and to take initiatives against hatred and violent extremism;


10.  calls on the government of Pakistan to ratify the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1984 UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; calls on Pakistan to fully respect and implement all the other international agreements and conventions on human rights that it is a party to;

11. reiterates its position on death penalty and calls on Pakistan to end capital punishment;


12. instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Parliament of Pakistan.