Islamabad, (Parliament Times) : Ms. Maria ARENA, Chair Subcommittee on Human Rights alongwith Mr. Peter Van Dalen and Mr. Petras AUŠTREVI?IUS, Members of the European Parliament met with the members of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights at the Parliament House.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, leading the delegation from the Pakistani side, thanked EU for support in flood relief but raised three concerns on human rights. He said floods in Pakistan are climate-induced and Pakistanis are suffering due to climate change effects of other countries policies. He said Pakistan is ravaged by floods and Ukraine by war, but Pakistan got ‘peanuts’ but Ukraine got billions. Surely, he asked the EU Parliamentarians, Pakistanis are not children of a lesser god? He said even UN Secretary General has called for ‘climate justice’. Secondly, he said Europe faces a grave threat of right wing racism and religious bigotry, with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism as electoral trends in Sweden and Italy testify. Third, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed condemned double standards of European countries: annexation of Crimea by Russia is condemned while annexation of Occupied Kashmir by India is condoned.
Ms. Maria ARENA expressed solidarity with the people of Pakistan in the wake of the devastation caused by the recent floods. She also highlighted the importance of GSP Plus for Pakistan and the need to strengthen work on issues of human rights, labor rights, freedom of expression and environment.
Mr. Peter Van Dalen stressed on the need of strengthening the criminal justice system in Pakistan for expedient disposal of cases. Mr. Petras AUŠTREVI?IUS highlighted the issue of Taliban in Afghanistan especially its adverse effect on public life of Afghans.
Senators Seemee Ezdi and Abida Azeem brought the attention of the EU Delegation on the climate catastrophe facing Pakistan. They also reiterated the need for assistance from the international community to address the issues of climate change.
The meeting which had a frank and candid exchange ended on a note of thanks from both sides.