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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Pakistan - Murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities


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

Sarah Ludford, Norica Nicolai, Alexandra Thein, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Marielle De Sarnez, Vincenzo Iovine, Marietje Schaake, Kristiina Ojuland, Sonia Alfano on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0166/2011

Διαδικασία : 2011/2612(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Pakistan - Murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities

The European Parliament,

having regard to its previous resolutions on Pakistan, in particular on the Religious freedom of 20 May 2010 and on Murder of the Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer of January 2011.

–   having regard to the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton statement of 2 March 2011,

–   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 the Minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, the cabinet's only Christian minister, was shot dead by gunmen in Islamabad,

B.  whereas the minister had received death threats for urging reform to blasphemy laws,


C.  whereas this assassination comes less than two months after Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has been killed by his bodyguard after having been questioned the blasphemy law,


D.  whereas the police and Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency have also teamed up to investigate this murder,


E.  whereas the blasphemy law has been controversial for quite some time, with human rights activists and liberals in Pakistan arguing that it is being misused to target religious minorities, such as Christians, and to hamper free expression, including on the internet


F.  whereas defenders of minority rights are killed,


G.  whereas Article 3(5) of the Treaty on European Union states that the promotion of democracy and respect for human rights and civil liberties are fundamental principles and aims of the European Union and constitute common ground for its relations with third countries,

H.  whereas the majority and state religion of Pakistan is Sunni Islam, and minority groups with different convictions consist of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Shiites, Ahmadis, Buddhists, Parsis, Bahá’ís, apostates, atheists, humanists and others,

I.  whereas Pakistan is one of the key countries in the fight against terrorism and the spread of violent extremism,

J.  whereas EU assistance in trade and development are conditional upon respect for human rights and minority rights;

1.  Strongly condemns the brutal assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities;

2.  Expresses condolences to his family, to the people and government of Pakistan;

3.  Urges the Pakistan authorities to bring the persons responsible of this crime rapidly to justice and efficiently fight against increasingly climate of intolerance and violence;

4.  Invites the Pakistan Government to increase the security of human rights defenders;

5.  Calls for the abolition or reform of the blasphemy law, and to specifically prevent misuse of blasphemy laws to curb human rights, such as freedom of conscience and freedom of expression;

6.  Expresses its solidarity with the Government of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism and the spread of violent extremism;

7.  Calls on the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the human rights of minorities laid down in the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, notably Article 18 thereof, which provides that ‘everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’;

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

9.  Invites the Pakistani authorities to remove all propaganda promoting hatred, religious superiority and defamation of religion from the textbooks approved by the national curriculum wing of the Ministry of Education;

10.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to continue with financial support for human rights organisations and defenders, and to outline practical measures to support the growing civil society movement in Pakistan against the blasphemy laws and other discriminatory legislation;

11.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to insist that the Government of Pakistan uphold the democracy and human rights clause enshrined in the Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; calls on the Commission to present a report on the effectiveness and efficiency of EU financing instruments related to democracy and human rights;

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.