Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B6-0279/2007Joint motion for a resolution



pursuant to Rule 103(4) of the Rules of Procedure, by
replacing the motions by the following groups: on Pakistan

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European Parliament resolution on Pakistan

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the Co-operation Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Partnership and Development of 24 November 2001, (also referred to as the third-generation Co-operation Agreement), in particular Article 1 of this agreement, which stipulates that 'respect for human rights and democratic principles...constitutes an essential element of this agreement'[1],

–  having regard to the EU/Pakistan Joint Declaration of 8 February 2007 and the first meeting of the Pakistan-EC Joint Commission under the Pakistan-EC Cooperation Agreement on 24 May 2007, where both parties undertook to develop a broad formalised political dialogue and confirmed their close cooperation on a wide range of regional and international issues,

–   having regard to the fact that parliamentary, provincial and presidential elections are due to be held later this year,

–  having regard to the European Parliament’s SAARC delegation visit to Pakistan in December 2006 and the meeting held with President Musharraf in Lahore,

–   having regard to previous resolutions on human rights and democracy in Pakistan, in particular those of 10 February 2004[2] and 22 April 2004[3],

A.  whereas the storming of the Red Mosque has resulted in a high death toll;

B.  whereas the clashes in and around the Mosque were a clear demonstration of dangers posed by the radical Islamist movement, against which President Musharraf may have failed to react quickly or decisively enough;

C.  whereas a series of constitutional amendments under the Musharraf administration have substantially altered the political system in Pakistan and succeeded in transforming the system of governance from a parliamentary to a presidential one, where the President has the power to overrule or to dismiss parliament,

D.  whereas the military and the secret services continue to exert an undue influence in politics, government and the economy of Pakistan, a situation which runs contrary to the principle of the roadmap for the restoration of democracy, which envisaged that power would be transferred from the military back to a civilian administration,

E.   whereas recent events, including the suspension of the Chief Justice, Mr. Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, on 9 March on as yet unproven charges of misconduct and the continuing popular protests that have been sparked by this action, have increased the urgency of addressing the issue of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan,

F.  whereas the US government has increased its pressure on Pakistan over its failure to clamp down on terrorism;

G.  whereas the European Union provides significant funding to Pakistan for poverty alleviation and health and State education;

1.  Expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan, who are victims of the violence perpetrated by the armed extremists; is deeply concerned for the safety of the 1800 or more people currently believed to be in the Red Mosque, some of whom were possibly held as hostages; urges the Government of Pakistan to do all it can to end the siege without further loss of life and to bring those responsible to justice;

2.  Urges the Government of Pakistan to return to democratic government by holding free, fair and democratic elections by the end of the year and warns against the imposition of emergency rule or other measures to suppress freedom of speech, association, assembly or movement;

3.  Encourages President Musharraf to respect the existing Constitution by allowing the new assemblies to hold presidential elections and by relinquishing his post of army chief, which he had previously agreed to do in an undertaking to the EU;

4.  Urges the armed forces of Pakistan to allow free and fair elections, including the possibility for exiled political leaders to return to Pakistan and stand for office; calls for measures to be taken to limit the influence of the military and other armed groups on the political and democratic processes;

5.  Welcomes the fact that the EU will monitor the parliamentary elections in Pakistan and that the EP will participate in the observer mission; is concerned however, about a number of aspects in the run-up to these elections, in particular;

  • -the neutrality of the caretaker government, which will be formed three months before the elections, and will be appointed by President Musharraf;
  • -the fact that an academic qualification is requested as a precondition for candidature, which will exclude 70% of Pakistani women from standing for election; therefore urges the removal of this restriction;
  • -the lack of legitimacy of the future President of Pakistan if he/she is to be elected by the outgoing Assembly;

6.  Calls upon the Council and the Commission to deliver a clear message to President Musharraf that a transition to civilian rule by strengthening democratic institutions and processes is the only acceptable way out of the current crisis;

7.   Urges the Council and the Commission to take a firm stand on upholding all the principles enshrined in the Cooperation Agreement, in particular the democracy and human rights clause; welcomes the ministerial meeting of 8 February and the meeting of the Pakistan-EC Joint Commission of 24 May as positive steps in strengthening the relations between the EU and Pakistan; underlines that the relationship between the EU and Pakistan is based on the principles enshrined in the Cooperation Agreement: a commitment to democracy, peace and stability, development, the enhancement of trade links, including in South Asia through regional cooperation, and respect for human rights; calls for an intensive political dialogue on these matters;

8.  Deplores the suspension of Chief Justice Chaudhry of the Supreme Court on alleged charges of misconduct, which was widely regarded as an attempt by the government to maintain control over the judiciary in an election year; calls for the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law to be respected, urges the government of Pakistan to take appropriate steps to reverse the current negative trend in relation to this and to refrain from any political interference in the case currently being heard in the Supreme Court; notes the strong solidarity shown by the entire legal profession of Pakistan with the Chief Justice;

9.  Greatly regrets the deaths of 41 civilians during political demonstrations in Karachi on 12 May and condemns the use of violence to achieve political ends, whether perpetrated by government allied forces or by members of opposition political parties;

10.  Is equally concerned about reports that three Chinese workers have been shot dead by suspected Islamic militants in Peshawar in a possible link to the Red Mosque siege;

11.   Condemns all attempts by the government to control media freedom by introducing amendments to broadcasting licences, restricting the live broadcasting of outside events and issuing government directives to media and broadcasting associations; condemns all forms of threat, coercion and intimidation of journalists and broadcasters;

12.   Is concerned by the numerous well-documented cases of 'disappearances' which have involved terrorist suspects, journalists, students, members of Baloch nationalist movements and other political activists and strongly emphasises that abductions, extra-judicial killings and imprisonment without trial are contrary to fundamental principles of international law including the right to life and rights of due process;

13.  Welcomes the European consensus on development and the EU's clear commitment to addressing countries affected by conflict or state fragility and its equally clear commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, including education policy; calls on the Government of Pakistan to significantly increase financial support to establish and develop a State education system with a broad-based curriculum throughout the country, including the tribal areas; calls on the Government to fulfil its commitments to enforce genuine control over the madrasas currently under the control of extremists;

14.  Notes with concern the continuing reports of repression against religious minorities and the use of the blasphemy laws against religious minorities;

15.  Is concerned that while President Musharraf has pledged his commitment to tackling terrorism and extremism at an international level, the domestic political alliances that exist between the government, the military and religious fundamentalists may hamper the ability of the government to address the issue of extremism and fundamentalism; urges the Pakistani government to take immediate and effective steps to prevent any political or armed force from using its territory as a sanctuary and as a base for operations in Afghanistan;

16.   Is concerned by the increasing instability and proliferation of insurgency-related violence in the tribal areas and particularly in Waziristan, noting in particular the occurrence of a number of suicide bombings including the attempt on the life of the Interior Minister in Peshawar on 28 April; calls on the government of Pakistan to reverse the situation by fostering the rule of law and the extension of civil and political rights to the area;

17.   Calls for increased dialogue with provincial and local leaders on the possibility of greater provincial autonomy or for increased representation of the interests of the provinces at national level; condemns the government's repressive policies in Balochistan, where there are continuing demands for greater provincial autonomy and increased regional control over the substantial natural resources of this area;

18.  Calls on the government to implement the recommendations of Pakistan's Supreme Court and to extend basic rights and political freedoms to the Northern Areas;

19.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and the government and the parliament of Pakistan.