EPWG on FoRB Co-Presidents Peter Van Dalen and Dennis De Jong and the EPWG on FoRB held a meeting with a Pakistani Delegation in the European Parliament. The delegation had been invited by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches. During the meeting, the Most Revd Samuel Robert Azariah, the moderator of the Church of Pakistan, spoke about violations of freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan and discrimination faced by minority communities. “Partners of the Pakistani government should take the initiative to discuss this with the leaders of the new government of Pakistan and urge them to repeal the controversial provisions of the blasphemy law,” said Bishop Samuel Azariah.
The delegation expressed their main concern about the misuse of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan and its negative impact on religious communities. The delegation urged the international community and the EU to pressure on the Pakistani government to prevent the misuse of the Blasphemy Law and discrimination of religious minorities. Co-Presidents of the EPWG on FoRB stated that they were deeply concerned about the situation in Pakistan. They spoke about actions that they have taken within the framework of their mandate in the European Parliament, including events on Pakistan and raising the issue with the EU Special representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the EU Special representative for Human Rights.