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Pakistan rejects EU Parliament’s resolution?

The European Parliament last week adopted a resolution calling for a review of trade relations with Pakistan and ending its eligibility for the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) status.

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In Pakistan, #PakistanRejects_EUResolution is trending at the top. The message is being sent to the European Parliament after it passed a resolution.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan also made it clear that there will be no compromise on the blasphemy laws.

The European Parliament last week adopted a resolution calling for a review of trade relations with Pakistan and ending its eligibility for the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) status. The resolution linked the review to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, in particular the case of Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel, who have been on death row since 2014 for sending ‘blasphemous’ text messages — a charge they deny.

It was overwhelmingly passed — 662 to 3 — with 26 not voting.

The text called on the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to “immediately review Pakistan’s eligibility for GSP+ status in light of current events”.

Read More: Pakistan ready to be removed from the FATF grey list: Hammad Azhar

It also said there is “sufficient reason” to initiate a procedure for the temporary withdrawal of this status and the benefits that come with it.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari reacted to the development. “We have issues to resolve but there has been more movement now on our HR Int Convention commitments than in previous govts. The way forward is dialogue & negotiations, which we have been doing, not extreme public positioning,” she tweeted.

The EU’s GSP allows products to come into the EU market from vulnerable developing countries without import duties. The scheme slashes tariffs to zero per cent for vulnerable low and lower-middle income countries that implement 27 international conventions related to human rights, labour rights, protection of the environment and good governance.

Member of European Parliament (MEP) Charlie Weimers of Sweden co-authored the resolution. He tweeted: “Should Europe reward Pakistan’s mob justice targeting Christians and its Prime Minister relativising the Holocaust? My answer is no.”

In 2018, a member of the European Parliament called on the EU to withdraw Pakistan’s GSP status due to the death penalty. “This position stands in contrast with European trade policy, especially evident in the trade benefit programme GSP+,” Barbara Matera had said.

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