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EU Tightens the Screws on Musharraf

Musharraf CaricatureToday on May 12 the European Parliament issued a resolution on Pakistan which in effect puts some considerable pressure on Musharraf to shape up. They have itemised the charge sheet quite well touching the Baluch issue, dissappearence, Lal Masjid, May 12th, Supreme Court Issue and a number of other things.

I quote here the recommendations and have highlighted the salient features which can be easier to quick read the entire text. If you care to digest the actual document you can head on over to the European Parliament website

  1. Expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan who are victims of the violence perpetrated by armed extremists; is deeply concerned about reports that some people were possibly held as hostages in the Red Mosque; recognises the challenges the siege posed to the Government of Pakistan; expresses its grave concern about the still unknown number of victims and supports efforts 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 Parliament will participate in the observer mission; is concerned however, about a number of aspects in the run-up to these elections, in particular:
    1. the neutrality of the caretaker government, which will be formed three months before the elections and will be appointed by President Musharraf;
    2. 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;
    3. the lack of legitimacy of the future President of Pakistan if he or 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 2007 and the meeting of the Pakistan-EC Joint Commission of 24 May 2007 as positive steps in strengthening the relations between the EU and Pakistan; stresses 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 of Pakistan 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 2007 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 of Pakistan 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 establish and develop a state education system with a broad-based curriculum throughout the country, including the tribal areas; calls on the Pakistani 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 2007; 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 Pakistani 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 Pakistani 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 and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of Pakistan.

4 Comments

  • Humanist International |

    Madame / Monsieur ,

    After carefully going through the EU parliament 12 July 2007 Resolution on Pakistan, I have come to the conclusion:

    1. That the EU Parliament is completelky ignorant of the prevaling situation as well as the different aspects of Pakistani social and political history.

    2. That they are acting like little boarding school children advising the peasants on agricultue matters without ever putting their feet on the fiels.

    3. That EU Parliament is trying to impose its version of political structure on people it has never met; that such people have 0nly 30% literacy rate, and therefore making the ignorant majority rule the country through the political ideology and structures of majority rule it (EU)wishes to implement in Pakistan.

    4. That it is ignoring the fact that the Third-World-Style-Western-Democracy was introduced by the Holy Roman (Christian)British Empire in all its former colonies, much as other Christian Imnperial Poweres introduced and imposed such defective political system in their former colonies, for the sake of indirect imperial political control.

    And that such a syszem has only resulted in the socio-political Destruction of these countries through bloody civil wars – a direct result of the defecteive and dangerous political system of this western democracy.

    5. That whereas the EU resolution talks of the problem of Fragility of the State, it does not discuss the reasons which are directly related to the defective form of the so-called democracy as practised in Pakistan and other Third World countries.
    6. That the EU demands President of Pakistan to respect a Constitution nuch defaced by Islamist fascist Martial law of Gen. Zia ul haq. It is like asking presentday Germany to rtespect a Hitler-Nazi defaced Constitution…!

    7. That it supports the exiled politicians without any knowledge of theri corruption, their crimes, their abuse of power as well as their involvement ion the illegal Heroine-Narco-drug business.
    8. That it does not take into consideration the influence of the Islamist Terrorists and Extremist Jihadi and religious political on the Pakistani democratic process which endangers the country with an Algerian-style bloody Islamic civil war…!
    9. That it urgwes the pakistan Government to control the madrassas while at the same time recommending it to give up its powers to establish such control. Only a strong Government in pakistan can control the Terrorist the likes of whom abducted the Chinese citizens in Pakista as well as killed Pakistani soldiers in Islamabad during the recent seige of the Lal mosque in Islamabad.

    11. The EU resolution mentions abuse of Blasphemy laws only against the religious minorities trying to make it a Religious Freedom problem while the reality is that more Muslims have been arrested and punished by the the abuse of Blasphemy lawa emnating from the unbirdled religious liberties and freedoms which need to be defined and strictly curtailed.

    13.That it ignoreas the fact that the government of Pakistan is forced to make political alliances to satisfy the childish demands of the West for a Western-style-Democracy which causes instability and give enough leverage and space to the Islamic extremists on the name of such democracy.

    14. That the situation in the NWFP and Baluchistan province s of Pakistan- which are abused for training of Taliban and Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan- is the direct result of the childish insistance on theis defective Western democracy which allows the Islamic Terrorists to get elected in the polpular elections -through abuse of the popular religious sentiments of the people,-and then easily takeover the state apparatus to abuse it for terrorist purposes.
    A similar situation exists in Wazirastan which will go worse with the so-called Westerm-democracy; but can only be controlled through strom-arm military tactics….!

    15. We support the EU demand of justice to the Honorable Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry of Pakistan Supreme Court, for the control of all forms of extremism and terrorism, for Civil Liberties and Basic Human Rights for all, for the Rule of Law as well as Responsible participation of Local and Provincial people in the governance and a meaasure of autonomy.

    We refer to the fact that it was the present Military government which reserved 33% seats for women in the local bodies,17% seats for the women in the national and Provincial parliaments as well inttroduction of the District Govt. system in Pakistan: thus ensuring Women’s political rights and regional Autonomy.

    16. We believe in Free and responsible Media in Pakistan …BUT…the EU must not forget the fact that pakistan Media is not known for its honesty, integrity and sense of responsibiliy: therefore some kind of guidance and control is necessary to protect civil liberties of the citizens as well as the Media-Abuse by the Islamix extremists and terrorists.

    17. We want to draw the attention of the EU Parliament towards the terrorism in the Islamic madrassas of Pakistan and remind the EU Parliament that such Islamic terrorism and Extremism cannot be controlled by the shallow slogans of Western-style-democracy which actually favours such islamic Extremism and Terrorism…!

    Many thanks

    Humanist International
    Switzerland