A delegation of the European Parliament visit Pakistan headed by Ms. Jean Lambert (MEP) and Chair of South Asia Delegation.
A delegation from the European Parliament has visited Pakistan headed by Jean Lambert who was accompanied by Mr. Salvador Sedo i Alabart, MEP and Mr. Phil Bennion, MEP. While there they had a meeting with government ministers, politicians, and faith leaders.
Pakistan's foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, expressed her appreciation of the EU's generous humanitarian assistance to Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2010 and 2011 floods. She also thanked the delegation for supporting Pakistan's case for greater market access, including Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATPs) and the GSP Plus scheme in 2014.
She also recalled the successful visit of the EU High Representative, Lady Catherine Ashton, to Islamabad in June 2012 during which the Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue was launched.
Ms Khar reiterated Pakistan's desire to forge deeper relations with the EU in all spheres.
She informed the delegation that to strengthen democracy and promote and protect human rights, the government had introduced far-reaching structural reforms in the country.
While discussing the situation in Afghanistan, the foreign minister added that peace and stability in Afghanistan was in Pakistan's national interest. She also emphasized the importance of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
Ms Lambert commended the steps taken by Pakistan towards strengthening democracy and improving human rights despite many challenges.
She also appreciated Pakistan's efforts against extremism and terrorism. Ms Lambert announced that the European Parliament was in the process of finalising the ATPs and hoped they would be operationalised soon.
CLAAS is in touch with members of the delegation and has raised its concerns about the misuse of the blasphemy law and the growing situation of human rights violations and inequality.
CLAAS has been assured that during the visit, the delegation raised the issues of extra judicial killings and disappearances in Baluchistan, and also met with Mr. Paul Bhatti and other key figures including faith leaders.
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