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Thursday, 10 March 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Pakistan - murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities

  Krzysztof Lisek (PPE), in writing.(PL) I should like to offer my condolences to the family of the murdered Pakistani Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti. I hope the perpetrators of this crime will quickly be apprehended and duly punished. This brutal incident, the victim of which was a high-ranking state official fighting for equal rights for minorities in Pakistan, is further evidence of how difficult the situation is in that country. Unfortunately, our current policy has not brought the expected results. In view of this, the European Union must take specific steps which will help to increase respect for the letter of the law and democracy in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In my opinion, a significant intensification of our work, by organising and holding annual EU-Pakistan meetings on the situation of minorities in Pakistan with the involvement of the European Parliament, can bring tangible benefits. In accordance with the text of the resolution we have adopted today, I fully endorse the financial support being given on our part to organisations which defend human rights and which are fighting the blasphemy laws. I hope we will be able to increase the scale of that support. I hope, too, that we will be able, with the help of suitable diplomatic instruments, to persuade the government of Pakistan to respect the provisions enshrined in the democracy and human rights clause of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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