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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Pakistan, in particular the attack in Lahore

12.4.2016 - (2016/2644(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Josef Weidenholzer, Victor Boştinaru, Knut Fleckenstein, Richard Howitt, Eric Andrieu, Nikos Androulakis, Francisco Assis, Zigmantas Balčytis, Hugues Bayet, Brando Benifei, Goffredo Maria Bettini, José Blanco López, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Simona Bonafè, Biljana Borzan, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nicola Caputo, Andrea Cozzolino, Andi Cristea, Miriam Dalli, Viorica Dăncilă, Nicola Danti, Isabella De Monte, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Enrico Gasbarra, Elena Gentile, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Neena Gill, Michela Giuffrida, Maria Grapini, Theresa Griffin, Sylvie Guillaume, Jytte Guteland, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Anna Hedh, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Afzal Khan, Jeppe Kofod, Kashetu Kyenge, Arne Lietz, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Olle Ludvigsson, Krystyna Łybacka, Costas Mavrides, Marlene Mizzi, Sorin Moisă, Csaba Molnár, Alessia Maria Mosca, Victor Negrescu, Momchil Nekov, Demetris Papadakis, Vincent Peillon, Pina Picierno, Tonino Picula, Miroslav Poche, Liliana Rodrigues, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Renato Soru, Tibor Szanyi, Claudia Tapardel, Marc Tarabella, Elena Valenciano, Julie Ward, Flavio Zanonato, Damiano Zoffoli on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0466/2016

Postup : 2016/2644(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Pakistan, in particular the attack in Lahore


The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Pakistan, in particular of 14 January 2015, 26th November 2014, 7 February 2013 and of 22 April 2014;


-   having regard to the statement by High Representative/Vice President on the attack in Lahore, Pakistan of the 27 March 2016 and on the attack on the Bacha Khan University, Pakistan, dated 20 January 2016;


-   having regard to the UN Security Council Press statement on Terrorist Attacks in Lahore, Pakistan, 28 March 2016; and to the UN Secretary-General Statement on the Bacha Khan University Attack, dated 21 January 2016


-   having regard to the press release by the European Union delegation to Pakistan on the visit to Pakistan of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with South Asia, dated 20 February 2015


-   having regard to the local statement of the EU delegation to Pakistan on the execution of alleged juvenile Ansar Iqbal dated 30 September 2015; by the Spokesperson on executions in Pakistan dated 5 August 2015; on the lifting of the moratorium of the death penalty and recent executions in Pakistan dated 17 March 2015


-  having regard to the National Action Plan of Pakistan to combat terrorism


-   having regard to the European Commission's EU Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance ('GSP+') covering the period 2014 – 2015, , dated 28 January 2016, and the Report on the Generalised Scheme of Preferences covering the period 2014-2015, 28 January 2016


-  having regard to the Constitution of Pakistan


-  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


-   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948


-  having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure



A.  whereas on 27 March 2016, Easter Sunday, more than 74 people were brutally killed and at least 350 injured, in a deadly attack in Gulshani-Iqbal Park, Lahore, Pakistan; whereas at least 29 victims were children; whereas Pakistani Taliban's Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (JuA) -A vigilant offshoot of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction -claimed responsibility for this deadliest attack since the 16 December 2014 attack; whereas this is the JuA`s 5th attack since December;


B.  whereas on 20 January 2016, four armed men killed over 20 people including students and a professor, and at least 22 were injured, in another deadly attack on the Bacha Khan University; whereas a faction of the TTP claimed responsibility; whereas loss of life due to terrorism has reached 70,000 victims;


C.  whereas the government has committed itself to stepping up the fight against terrorism; whereas since the most recent attack, more than 5,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested, with dozens still in custody, as part of Pakistan's paramilitary crackdown on Islamist militants;


D.  whereas since January 2015, terrorist suspects are still being tried in the military courts, empowered to pass death sentences; whereas military courts are subject to Supreme Court review but not to public scrutiny; whereas widespread allegations exist on the use of torture to extract evidence;


E.  whereas the moratorium on death penalty remains lifted since the APS Peshawar attack in 2014; whereas the death penalty in Pakistan is also being applied to crimes which do not constitute ‘most serious crimes’ in accordance with the ICCPR;


F.  whereas there is the reported continuation of the use of child suicide bombers by extremist groups; whereas the government has failed to pass legislation constituting the National Commission on the Rights of the Child, an independent body to protect and enforce child rights;


G.  whereas conflict caused by fighting between the Pakistani military and non-state armed groups resulted in over a million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs); whereas women and children in Pakistan are most vulnerable to marginalisation and exposed to sexual violence;


H.  whereas threats, violence and killings of journalists and activists, reportedly by both, state security forces and militant groups, deeply encumber the rights to freedom of expression and the media, and is causing self-imposed censorship;


I.  whereas Pakistan's blasphemy law is still frequently misused for personal animosity purposes, and for targeting religious minorities; whereas convictions may entail disproportionate sentences including the death penalty and life imprisonment; whereas in October 2015, a Supreme Court ruling recognised the misuse of the blasphemy law;



1.Strongly condemns and deplores all attacks of terrorism and violence; Expresses condolences to all the families of the victims and support to the people of Pakistan; Reiterates that attacks on schools, children, women and civilians are acts of cowardice and in breach of international law;


2.Fully Supports Pakistan in its efforts to fight against terrorism; Reaffirms its readiness in assisting the Government of Pakistan in combatting terrorism and extremism; Urges the Government to continue to investigate and appropriately prosecute, in accordance with internationally recognised standards of rule of law and human rights, individuals personally responsible, as well as in command responsibility, for involvement in the attacks which are in violation of international law;


3.Expresses serious concerns on the implementation of the right to a fair trial enshrined in Article 14 of the ICCPR; calls upon the government to safeguard the implementation the ICCPR and CAT, and to ensure fair, transparent and public judicial proceedings of all persons tried before any court of law;


4.Calls upon the Pakistani authorities to re-impose a moratorium on executions with immediate effect, until the death penalty is abolished and to stop judicial executions; Calls for the immediate enforcement of the existing ban on the death penalty for all child offenders and adherence to the ICCPR;;


5.Welcomes Pakistan's ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and commends the efforts of the Pakistani authorities' measures in addressing children's rights; Calls upon Pakistan to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict; And to set up the National Commission on the Rights of the Child;


6.Welcomes the passing of the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill; Calls upon the Pakistani authorities to promptly and fully implement the said Bill; Calls upon the Pakistani authorities to provide the necessary legislative safeguards to protect women from all forms of violence, as well as access to shelter and redress in any case of violations; To provide greater access to education, health care and equal employment opportunities for women in Pakistan.


7.Strongly underscores the importance of journalists and media activists in every civil society; Condemns all killings and threats to persons legitimately exercising their right to freedom of expression; calls upon the government to implement its promise to appoint special prosecutors to investigate attacks on journalists, and furthermore to bring all perpetrators to justice;


8.Welcomes the October 2015 Supreme Court on the misuse of blasphemy law; Reiterates its call on the Government of Pakistan to review the blasphemy law, and to place safeguards to prevent abuse of legal provisions on blasphemy or apostasy;


9.Calls upon the government of Pakistan to take necessary measure to ensure that education institutions, places of recreation and gathering of minority communities, in areas of insecurity and conflict are adequately protected and to minimize the risk of repetition of similar human rights violations and abuses;


10.Welcomes the National Action Plan on human rights; Encourages the authorities of Pakistan to swiftly implement the said Action Plan and to work with international bodies to address valid concerns of human rights


11.Supports the work of the EEAS and the Commission in monitoring Pakistan's compliance with its commitments under the GSP+ ; Encourages continuous on-going dialogue with Pakistan on ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights, particularly in relation to their counter-terrorism efforts and through the implementation of security laws;


12. Encourages the Government of Pakistan to significantly improve counter-terrorism cooperation with its neighbours; reaffirms the importance of an unconditional international commitment to fighting terrorism, including disrupting all forms of financial support for terrorist networks, as well as ideological indoctrination fuelling extremism and terrorism;


13.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Secretary- General of the UN, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Government and Parliament of Pakistan