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EU Declaration On Emergency Rule In Pakistan


Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan

The EU is deeply concerned with the declaration of the state of emergency and suspension of Pakistan's constitution and fundamental liberties announced by President Musharraf on 3 November.

It strongly reiterates the importance of holding free and fair elections on schedule, of restoring civilian rule and the full respect for human rights, including the independence of the judiciary and freedom of the media.

The EU is particularly concerned by reports of numerous arrests of leaders of political parties, lawyers, journalists, human rights defenders and representatives of civil society.

The EU takes note with interest of the statement by PM Aziz that the elections will take place, as scheduled, in January, and will look forward to the implementation of the necessary conditions to guarantee free and fair elections.

While recognising that Pakistan faces threats to its peace and security, the EU believes that stability and development can only be achieved through democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The EU therefore now calls on the Government of Pakistan to take urgent action to:

i) restore the Constitution;

ii) implement the necessary conditions to guarantee free and fair elections on schedule in January;

iii) release all political prisoners, including members of the judiciary, as well as Ms. Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief;

iv) honour the President's commitment to step down as Chief of Army Staff by 15 November;

v) pursue energetically reconciliation with the political opposition; and,

vi) relax restrictions on the media.

At the same time, the EU urges all parties concerned to show restraint and to work together for a peaceful and democratic solution.

"The Candidate Countries Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process."

ENDS

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