Issue Brief on “EU Parliament Resolution Misinterprets Human Rights Situation in Pakistan””

In a resolution passed on June 15, 2017 the European Parliament has criticised Pakistan for “an alarming rate of executions” and for breaching international law while violating the human rights. It has urged the Pakistani government to prevent the misuse of “blasphemy law” as a political tool against political dissidents. The resolution has also questioned the authenticity of the trials being carried out by the Pakistani courts and the strength of the civil judiciary.

While speaking at the plenary session, Ms. Neena Gill, the British member of the European Parliament even disapproved the GSP+ status granted to Pakistan. The prerequisites for GSP+ include implementation of 27 international human rights conventions, and an obligation by Pakistan to take a cautious approach in this regard.[1] According to Ms. Gill, “It is high time to see real progress on human rights and strengthening of the civil judiciary in Pakistan. If not, GSP+ has to be reviewed.”[2] The Parliament in its resolution adopted by the majority has also demanded from the Government of Pakistan to restore the moratorium on the death penalty, “with the longer-term objective of full abolition of the death penalty.”[3] It has also urged the Government of Pakistan to bring the provisions on death penalty in the national legislation in line with the international law and standards, including “a halt to executions for any offence other than intentional killing.” Further, apprehensions have also been expressed by the European Union (EU) on the mechanism of appeal. The military courts that can try civilians were reinstated in Pakistan in March 2017.

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