EU care for Pakistani Christians
ISLAMABAD: European Parliament delegation urged Pakistan to bring reforms in blasphemy law and ensure the safety of the minority rights in Pakistan. European parliamentarian are aware and care for Pakistani Christians, said Peter Van Dalen, a lead delegate.
According to the details European Parliament mission led by Mr. Peter van Dalen (Netherlands), Mr. Arne Gericke (Germany) and Mr. Marek Jurek (Poland) visited Pakistan between 2 -5 November, 2015. The mission aims at a fact finding on blasphemy laws in Pakistan and their application. The delegation met high interlocutors from the government and representative of the civil society. During the meeting with advisor to the Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz, EU delegation demanded to carry out thorough review of the blasphemy law and its current application, in particular section 295-B & C of the penal code.
Peter Van Dalen, a lead delegate said that EU believes that there is now momentum for Pakistan to start closing the dark chapter of its blasphemy legislation. By doing so, Pakistan would apply its founding principles, as well as its international obligations under for example the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the conditions attached to GSP+ trade benefits granted by the EU.
The EU parliament delegation has handed over the handout to the high officials including Sartaj Aziz and other high officials and demanded the safety of the minority rights. It said “the legislation which is supposed to protect and safeguard instead has drenched large parts of Pakistan’s society in fear. During the recent decade the security situation has gone to worse in Pakistan. Especially minorities of the country feel insecure in Pakistan thus Pakistan stands in the top ten source countries of people seeking asylum in the EU.” The EU parliamentarian said that the blasphemy law direct or indirectly affect them as well.
Later the delegation visited H-9 slum area and met with displaced people of Rimsha case (a Christian minor girl accused of blasphemy in Islamabad). The delegation ensured the slum settlers that EU will support the slums of the capital as well the people persecuting in Pakistan. Peter Van Dalen also prayed for the safety of community and better future.
The sources confirm that the delegation visited Youhanabad and met with the victims of the incident. The Punjab government has arrested many Christians after the twin church blast in Youhanabad accusing them lynching of the two suspects involved in bomb blasts. Joseph Francis, Director CLAAS briefed them the present situation of the case and also shared his concern in this regard. The EU delegation showed his greater sympathy to the victims and effectees of the incident. Later the delegation met with Asia Bibi’s family in Lahore.