Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

European Parliament slams Pakistan for ‘grave’ human rights abuse

Pakistan Today - 30th October 2012

The European Parliament has slammed Pakistan for its “grave human rights abuses” and raised concern over the “pathetic condition” of the girl child in the country as it condemned the Taliban attack on teenage rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

It also called for a determined effort by the international community to use its moral, financial and military power to stem the root that “afflicts certain societies where children have become targets of terrorist organisations like the Taliban which continue to have support and sanctuaries in Pakistan”.

During a debate organised in the European Parliament on March 26, the members of South Asia Peace Forum (SAPF) highlighted the pathetic condition of the girl child in Pakistan. The emergency debate specially focused on the discrimination against girls in Pakistan with special reference to Malala. “The members of the European Parliament spoke at length about the situation of human right abuses,” an official statement said.

The debate highlighted the attack in the city of Mingora in which the 15-year-old Malala was targeted. “Malala is widely respected for her work to promote the schooling of girls, something that the Taliban strongly oppose and apparently became the reason for the attack,” it said. Charles Tannock, member of European Parliament, during the debate said, “This is more than just the case of the shooting of one brave girl, but a crisis for the entire Pakistani education system”.

He said the Pakistani government must take immediate steps to protect students, teachers, schools, and rights defenders at risk of attack, adding, “It’s time for Pakistani authorities to understand that expressions of outrage alone are inadequate and such attacks will only end if they hold abusers accountable.”
He said the people, who sought to harm children, were nothing but “cowards who fear the rise of their voice”.

“The members of the European Parliament and members of SAPF called for a determined effort by the international community to use its moral, financial and military power to stem the root that afflicts certain societies where children have become targets of terrorist organisations like the Taliban which continue to have support and sanctuaries in Pakistan,” the statement said.