Irish MEP John Cushnahan is livid. As the European Union’s rapporteur on Pakistan he insisted that the Europe not confer legitimacy on Musharraf’s regime under pressure from the United States and Britain. So, he resigned last week when the EU decided to approve a trade and cooperation agreement with Pakistan overlooking its nuclear proliferation and perversion of democracy.
Like the United States, the EU has bargained away democracy for the sake of a blinkered interpretation of short term expediency. Enhancing trade and cooperation should have been done without appearing to legitimise the Musharraf dispensation. Coming soon after his renewed refusal to confirm his exit from the army, this act will certainly be seen by many as an endorsement of Musharraf.
Its almost apologetic forwarding of a request for more information on the nuclear tests is not the greatest way to handle one of the most serious security threats it faces.
It should also not be forgotten that under this military regime, nuclear technology has been sold to a number of rogue regimes throughout the world. If EU ministers do not stand up for principle, in the future no country will listen when they make declarations about the importance of democracy and human rights in the future. The European Union would make a major mistake if it conferred political legitimacy on this sham system”[John Cushnahan/Politics.ie]
Every bit of legitimacy it confers on regimes such as Musharraf’s chips away at EU’s own credibility.