EU slams Pakistan's poor rights record, stand on Kulbhushan Jadhav
Brussels [Belgium], June 15 (ANI): The European Parliament has criticised Pakistan's human rights record, and squarely reminded Islamabad that it has grossly erred in handing down capital punishment for those allegedly violating the nation's blasphemy law, in the excessive of military courts and in denying India consular access to former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav on multiple occasions.
European Union Parliament members unanimously endorsed a resolution that criticised the abuse of capital punishment by Pakistan for fulfilling its political aims in trials related to civilians.
Calling for the abolition of the death penalty, the European Parliament members reiterated their strong opposition to the use of the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances and called on Pakistan to reintroduce a moratorium on executions and commute all death sentences to various terms of imprisonment.
"Death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment and a miscarriage of justice," said one the members of the European Parliament.
Referring specifically to the Jadhav case, wherein he has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and sabotage, the EU Parliament deplored the use of military courts for holding hearings in camera and sought an assurance from the Government of Pakistan to reverse the decision to the extent military courts should apply their jurisdiction only on breaches of military discipline, and that too, only those committed by military personnel.
The European Parliament resolution also insisted that authorities in Pakistan should grant access to international observers and human rights organisations for purposes of monitoring the use of military courts and strengthen the civilian judiciary in line with international standards on judicial proceedings.
As India was denied consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, the resolution underscored that "third country nationals brought to trial, must be allowed access to consular services and protection."
The European Parliament reminded Islamabad of its obligation to ensure respect for the fundamental rights of freedom of thought and freedom of expression and other international and regional human rights instruments.
Expressing its grave concern about the recent mass trials leading to a vast number of death sentences, the resolution sought an immediate and definitive end to such practices, which violate international human rights standards.
Stressing about the prevailing situation regarding human rights violation in Pakistan, the resolution said ,"Several minority people have been killed and persecuted because they are not being protected by the government and death penalty are the tools for setting personal vendetta or to suppress minorities."
The European Parliament said that the death penalty is incompatible with values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, on which the Union is founded, and that any member state reintroducing the death penalty would, therefore, be in violation of the Treaties and of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The European Parliament then instructed its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Commission Vice-President, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and Parliament of Pakistan and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for further deliberation and action. (ANI)