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European Union urges government of Pakistan to amend the blasphemy laws



European Union has urged the Pakistani government to make necessary amendments in the notorious blasphemy laws.

In keeping with details, a European Union Parliament delegation has insisted upon a much needed amendment in the blasphemy law so that the wellbeing of the minorities in the country would be ensured.The EU delegation headed by Peter van Dalen from Netherlands, Arne Gericke from Germany and Marek Jurek from Poland was on a visit to Pakistan from November 2 till November, 5 2015. Representatives of civil society and the government also met with the delegation.

Peter Van Dalen, leading the delegation said, “European parliamentarian are aware and care for Pakistani Christians.”

He further said that the EU strongly believes that time has come for Pakistan to begin closing the dark chapter of its notorious blasphemy law. As a result of this amendment, Pakistan would make an upturn to its initial founding ideology, over and above it would also be able to fulfil its international obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the conditions attached to GSP+ trade benefits settled by European Union.

During this meeting, the delegation from the European Union discussed the issue with the advisor to the Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz, and handed him a handout which contains demand of the safety and security of the religious minorities in Pakistan.

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The handout read, “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 mission expressed its intentions to make a thorough investigation into the blasphemy laws related incidents in the country. The EU mission also visited the H-9 area slum of the Capital and met with the Christian residents who had been displaced as a result of the high profile blasphemy case of Rimsha Masih.

The delegation assured the marginalised Christians that European Union will extend all possible support and substantial help to them. Peter Van Dalen, prayed for safety and security of the Christians.

Moreover, the EU delegation also paid a visit to Youhanabad, a Christian neighbourhood in Lahore. The delegation met with the Christian residents of the area who had been affected by the twin blasts incident. They were being briefed about the facts by a local NGO. Afterwards, the delegation also met with the family of blasphemy accused Christian woman Asia Bibi who is on death row.