Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-04-05-Speech-4-200"

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"Mr President, thanks to General Musharraf’s rule, the Pakistani population is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. There is nothing left of democracy, and the prospects are gloomy. The announcement of elections appears to be no more than a diversion to mislead the international community. Active party members of the opposition are being apprehended. Election campaigns have been rendered impossible, and the independence of the judiciary has been compromised. Whilst the World Bank is agonising over economic reform in Pakistan, the military regime is wrecking democracy. No democracy means no stability, and no stability means no economic recovery. Pakistan is becoming increasingly isolated on the world stage. The financial and military support granted by the military regime to the Taliban barbarians in Afghanistan is repugnant. According to the Afghan opposition leader, who is on a visit here today, only political reform in Pakistan can lead to the downfall of the Muslim extremists in the neighbouring country. The European Union was right to halt the negotiations with Pakistan. As long as democracy has not been fully re-established, there cannot be any hope of a cooperation agreement. The political dialogue can only be continued on an ad hoc basis and, in this connection, the regime has to be put under great pressure to hold fair elections soon. The Pakistani population must not be left in the lurch. European development aid must remain focused on education and other social programmes. Aid for elections can only be granted if it contributes to a fair course of events. The chance of that happening appears extremely remote for the time being. Pakistan is an important country in the region but, unfortunately, its Government appears to alternate between corrupt regimes and military juntas. The population must be freed from this. It deserves sunnier prospects."@en1

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