A resolution attacking Pakistan for “fantasy” breaches of human rights will send the wrong message to an ally in need of help, MEPs were warned today.
Amjad Bashir, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, sounded the caution as the European Parliament in Strasbourg debated an urgent resolution criticising Pakistan’s use of military courts and alleging government responsibility for anti-blasphemy lynchings.
He labelled the resolution “regrettable, misguided and misleading” and said: “I stand against the abuse of human rights wherever it may arise, but such grave allegations as these should be based on fact – not fantasy.
“The despicable crimes detailed are just that – crimes. Against the law of the land. They are repugnant to the majority of Pakistani people and condemned by the government.
“To suggest that the state is behind them, has condoned them or turns a blind eye to them is simply not true and this parliament will demean itself if it supports the resolution.
“Interestingly, the text makes no mention of an AFET (Foreign Affairs Committee) Delegation to Pakistan last April when we were welcome to raise any thorny issue we chose in the presence of senior government authorities, opposition parties, NGOs, think tanks and civilians. Unlike similar trips to India.
“Pakistan relies on our help to deliver on human rights and rule of law as a genuine ally and economic partner of the EU and the West. This resolution sends the wrong signal altogether.”