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A 3-member delegation of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group in the European Parliament met Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the Foreign Office today. The delegation was led by Peter Van Dalen, MEP from the Netherlands, and included Marek Jurk from Poland and Ame Cericke from Germany.

2. Adviser briefed the delegation about the resolve of the government to strengthen democratic values and promote human rights. The focus was particularly on improving the economic well being of the people and protection of their fundamental rights. An independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society provide additional safeguards for protection of human rights. Challenges notwithstanding, we are moving in the right direction, he underlined. The Adviser also briefed the delegation on Pakistan’s National Action Plan, efforts against terrorism and extremism and the success of the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb.

3. The European delegation appreciated the efforts of Pakistan in taking positive steps towards promotion of greater human and minority rights, as well as preventing the misuse of blasphemy laws.

4. The Adviser stressed the importance of positive review of the GSP plus status for Pakistan.

5. During their stay in Pakistan, the delegation will travel to Lahore also.

3 November 2015

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