EUROPE – European Parliament may suspend all subsidies to Pakistan

On the 30 April 2019, fifty-one (51) Members of the European Parliament issued a collective letter addressed to Mr. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan expressing their concerns, and seeking assurances that the persecution of religious minorities would cease immediately. 

The letter highlighted that today’s Pakistan is far removed from being the country that its founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had envisaged. Jinnah had always insisted that Pakistan would be a Muslim majority State where people from all religions, whether Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Ahmadis or Shias, would be treated equally. Over the last seven decades, successive governments in Pakistan have contributed to implementing discriminatory systems that have resulted in political, economic and social persecution of religious minorities, which have encouraged acts of violence against them by radical Islamic groups.

In the letter, the Members of the European Parliament criticize Pakistan and its establishment for falsely accusing and targeting individuals under the blasphemy law. They specifically cited the internationally condemned case of  Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who had been falsely charged, harassed and sentenced to death row due to the country’s Blasphemy Laws.

The Members of the European Parliament urged Pakistan to take measures to dismantle the constitutional and institutional structures that have resulted in the purposeful targeting of religious minorities in the country. Should the violations of the International Covenant on Freedom of Religion continue, especially with regard to the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan, the Members of the European Parliament having signed the letter, would be compelled to call on the European Commission to suspend all subsidies and trade preferences until the effective implementation of the Convention could be assured by the Government of Pakistan.

Letter has been signed by the following Members of the European Parliament

  1. Marijana Petir
  2. Arne Gericke
  3. Richard Corbett
  4. Ana Gomes
  5. Ignazio Corrao
  6. Neena Gill
  7. Nathalie Griesback
  8. Marie-Christine Arnautu
  9. Dominique Martin
  10. Alojz Peterle
  11. Patricija Šulin
  12. Franc Bogovič
  13. Jude Kirton-Darling
  14. Julie Ward
  15. Csaba Sógor
  16. Sergio Gaetano Cofferati
  17. Pina Picierno
  18. José Inácio Faria
  19. Renate Sommer
  20. Dietmar Köster
  21. Carlos Iturgaiz
  22. Fulvio Martusciello
  23. Ramona Nicole Mănescu
  24. Heinz K. Becker
  25. Sofia Ribeiro
  26. Anna Záborská
  27. Péter Niedermüller
  28. Jørn Dorhmann
  29. Claudia
  30. Branislav Škripek
  31. Indrek Tarand
  32. Michaela Šojdrová
  33. Raffaele Fitto
  34. Massimiliano Salini
  35. Bas Belder
  36. Miroslav Mikolášik
  37. Alberto Cirio
  38. Pascal Durand
  39. Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio
  40. Marc Tarabella
  41. Maurice Ponga
  42. Claude Rolin
  43. Alain Lamassoure
  44. Liliana Rodriguez
  45. Gérard Deprez
  46. Carlos Coelho
  47. Jo Leinen
  48. Ryszard Czarnecki
  49. Isabelle Thomas
  50. Patricia Lalonde
  51. Sławomir Kłosowski

Letter copy can be read below