EU envoys not allowed meeting with Aitzaz Ahsan

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Lahore, Jan 22 : European Union envoys, who are in Pakistan on election observation duties, have said that they were not allowed to meet detained Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan at his residence on Monday.

"Yes, we would definitely discuss the issue with him (President Pervez Musharraf) so that the release of all the political prisoners could be made possible," The Nation quoted Ambassador of Netherlands, Willem Andreae, as saying, after he was not allowed to meet Ahsan, whose detention order is due to expire on February 2.

Separately, Norwaegian Ambassador Aud Marit Viig, accompanied by diplomat Jakeeb Rusten, like Andreae, on visit to Ahsan's Lahore residence was flatly refused permission by the jail authorities, on the plea that they should get permission from the Home Department.

The envoys held separate meetings with Ahsan's wife, Bushra, and inquired about his health.

They said they were visiting Lahore only to meet Ahsan and express solidarity with him as he was under house arrest since November 3.

Andreae said Ahsan was his old friend and he hoped his detention would end soon.

Later, briefing reporters about her meeting with the envoys, Bushra said, according to Andreae, the European monitors have prepared a six-point report to be presented to the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections.

"EU would emphasise and stress upon President Musharraf to hold free and fair elections as it was needed for stability of Pakistan," she was quoted, as saying.

About Ahsan's health, she said, his morale was high, but the detention had affected his health.

Earlier, Andreae had told reporters that 150 monitors from EU were working in Pakistan to cover election activities.

When asked whether they have received any complaints of rigging and flaws, he said it was too early to comment. He said the monitors had submitted their report, but he had not read it yet.

ANI

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