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Thursday, 10 March 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Pakistan - murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities

  Constance Le Grip (PPE). (FR) Mr President, I, too, was deeply shaken by the cowardly assassination on 2 March 2011 of Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, the Christian Minister for Minorities in the government of Pakistan.

This terrorist assassination follows numerous other assassinations of courageous, tolerant Pakistanis who are passionate about human rights and defenders of the human rights of both men and women.

We once again urge the government of Pakistan to do everything possible to shed light on this cowardly assassination and to ensure that the protection of people threatened by fanatical religious extremists is truly effective. I am naturally thinking, first and foremost, but not only, of Mrs Sherry Rehman.

Once again, I vigorously call on all the competent institutions of the European Union to include in negotiations, with a view to preparing future cooperation agreements, including the cooperation agreement between the Union and Pakistan, a clause ensuring respect for religious freedom and human rights.


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