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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

Pavel Telička, Marielle de Sarnez, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Petras Auštrevičius, Marietje Schaake, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Valentinas Mazuronis, Ivo Vajgl, Filiz Hyusmenova, Martina Dlabajová, Nedzhmi Ali, Dita Charanzová, José Inácio Faria, Fredrick Federley, Nathalie Griesbeck, Antanas Guoga, Marian Harkin, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Louis Michel, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Hannu Takkula, Carolina Punset, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Paavo Väyrynen, Javier Nart, Gérard Deprez on behalf of the ALDE Group

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

Procedura : 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 human rights and democracy in Pakistan,

– having regard to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,


– having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989,

– having regard to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

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

– having regard to the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief,


–  having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between Pakistan and the EU, the Five-Year Engagement Plan, the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and the GSP+ scheme of trade preferences,


– having regard to the Council conclusions on Pakistan of 20th July 2015 that reiterate the EU’s expectations regarding the promotion of and respect for human rights and condemn all acts of violence, including against religious minorities.


– having regard to the statement by the UN security council of the 28 March 2016


– having regard to the statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini of 27th March 2016 on the attacks in Lahore,

– having regard to Rules 122(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. Whereas on the 27th March 2016, Easter Sunday, at least 72 people were murdered including 29 children and more than 320 injured by a terrorist attack in a crowded park in Lahore , for which Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a Pakistani Taliban splinter group has claimed responsibility.


B. Whereas this is the second time in 13 months that Christians have been targeted for mass causality attacks in Lahore. In March 2015 twin bombings outside churches in Lahore killed at least 14 people in the city’s Youhanabad area.


C. Whereas sectarian violence has caused in the last decade thousands of deaths of citizens of religious minorities, especially the Shiite, Christian and Ahmadiyya community in a context of impunity and discriminatory laws and policies established by the Government;


D. Whereas, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 4,612 people were killed in bombings and other violence in the country in 2015 and at least 140 people have been murdered by terrorists in Pakistan so far in 2016.


E. Whereas terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.


F. Whereas Islamist extremist groups affiliated or claiming to be affiliated to the terrorist organisation Daesh have warned of further mass causality attacks in Pakistan, targeting Christians and other religious minorities.


G. Whereas 320 people were executed by the Government of Pakistan in 2015, as a result of the lifting of the moratorium on civilian executions in December 2014, following the Pakistani Taliban-led attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.


H. Whereas Pakistan has a significant role to play in advancing political, economic and trade relations in the region, which can contribute to growth, stability and peace in Central and South Asia


I. Whereas the EU remains fully committed to continuing its dialogue and engagement with Pakistan under the 5-year Engagement Plan.



1. Strongly condemns the terrorist atrocity in Lahore perpetrated by Pakistani Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar as an act of horror and cowardice, and expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and its support to the people and the authorities of Pakistan;


2. Expresses its full commitment to tackling the threat posed by terrorism and religious extremism and its readiness to further assist the Pakistani Government in this;


3. Expects the Government of Pakistan to take urgent and effective measures, in keeping with internationally recognised standards of the rule of law, to address the security threat posed by all militant and terrorist groups operating within Pakistan and the surrounding region; underlines the need to bring the perpetrators, organisers, sponsors and financiers of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice;


4. Believes that while the military operation announced in the Punjab is vital in the battle against Islamist jihadism, of equal importance is victory in the ideological war against extremism that will ensure a tolerant and progressive future for Pakistan;


5. Calls on the Government of Pakistan to carry out a thorough review of their blasphemy laws and their current application and the cessation of institutional discrimination against religious minorities; calls on the government to protect these minorities of religious violence they are victims and allow them to develop their rites and celebrations peacefully;

6. Recalls its constant opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances; notes with grave concern the dramatic increase in the use of the death penalty in Pakistan, including, highly regrettably, against child offenders, and calls for a moratorium on capital punishment to be reinstated immediately;


7. Emphasises that in the fight against terrorism and religious extremism it is crucial to work on its root causes, including addressing poverty, freedom of belief, ensuring religious tolerance, the protection of minorities, while reinforcing the rule of law and guaranteeing the right and safe access to education for all.


8. Expresses concern about the vulnerability of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to attack or theft by non-state actors and calls on the Government of Pakistan to review security as necessary.


9. Calls for a renewed and more effective international commitment to fighting the financing and sponsorship of terrorist networks;


10. Welcomes the progress that has been achieved on the main elements of the EU-Pakistan 5 year engagement Plan, but insist on the imperative need to make progress on the Human Rights situation in the country and calls for a third EU-Pakistan ad hoc Summit in order to engage further and improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation;


11. Calls on the Commission, High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini, the European External Action Service and the Council to fully engage with the Government of Pakistan to tackle the threat posed by terrorism and to further assist the Pakistan Government and the people of Pakistan with continuing their efforts to eradicate terrorism; calls on the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini to regularly inform the European Parliament on the progress in these bilateral efforts;


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