European Union urges stay on executions and review its blasphemy laws

European Union urges stay on executions and review its blasphemy laws


  Now one again European Union  has urged Pakistan to abolish death penalty by retaining a moratorium on the capital punishment. It has also asked the country to review its blasphemy laws. The EU delegation also included Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan Lars-Gunnar Wigemark.
On Tuesday, EU delegation showed hope during a meeting with a group of Pakistani lawmakers at the Parliament House , that Pakistan by continuing the moratorium on execution and reviewing blasphemy laws could get free access to European markets.
According to delegation "If Pakistan reviews its blasphemy laws and keeps the moratorium intact, the EU will consider Pakistan for duty-free access under its Generalized System for Preferences (GSP) Plus program,”  “We, however, said Pakistan cannot abolish the death penalty following its Islamic and constitutional rules,” he added.
Previous government which is in 2008, Continuing the ban on the capital, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the interior ministry last year to halt executions till further orders.Since 2008, Pakistan executed only a couple of prisoners while more than 8,000 prisoners are on death row in more than five dozen jails of the country.
The foreign affairs ministry has also recommended the government avail the GSP-Plus by extending the moratorium.
EU Special Representative to Pakistan for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis also expressed deep concerns over growing violence against minorities in Pakistan.
Senator Farhatullah Babar informed the observers that Pakistan was a signatory to different human rights conventions. “We may not be a champion of human rights –but, yes we have made extraordinary progress by introducing forcing fresh legislation into practice in Pakistan,” he added.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed urged the EU to extend its maximum support to Pakistan for acquiring status of the GSP-Plus. Issues of human rights are high on our agenda and the government is making all-out efforts to address them, he added.
“Pakistan is the freest Muslim democracy in the Muslim world,” Mushahid remarked, adding that smooth transition of power from one elected government to the other was a manifestation of the fact that Pakistan strongly believes in democracy and rule of law. Pakistani lawmakers also urged the EU to take notice of human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir. Senator Mushahid, who chaired the meeting, also asked the visiting guests to take strong notice of the gross violations of human rights and atrocities of the Indian forces in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Senator Babar pointed out that violation of rights by Indian forces in the disputed Himalayan state needed to be looked into immediately.
Senator Mushahid said negative narrative against Islam and racism in the West was creating inconvenience for Muslims in Pakistan. However, he expressed his satisfaction over collaboration between Pakistan and the EU on different issues and expressed hope that bilateral relations between the two would grow further in future.
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About Waheed Gul

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