Today (Monday), Prime Minister Imran Khan will chair a conference of senior ministers to address the European Parliament’s decision to demand a revision of Pakistan’s GSP Plus status.
On Thursday, the European Parliament passed a resolution asking for a review of Pakistan’s GSP Plus status, stating that it had been found that laws discriminating against minorities and fundamental rights were on the increase.
The proposal was proposed by Renew Europe, a centrist, pro-European political party of the European Parliament. It was adopted with a plurality of 681 votes to six.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, his commerce advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, and other ministers will meet with the prime minister to discuss the situation.
The meeting is scheduled to address the resolution and make key decisions on the European Parliament’s call for Pakistan’s GSP Plus status to be reviewed.
“European Parliament resolution reflects lack of understanding”, says FO.
Responding to the European Parliament’s resolution, the Foreign Office had expressed dissatisfaction over the progress.
FO states that“The discourse in the European Parliament reflects a lack of understanding in the context of blasphemy laws and associated religious sensitivities in Pakistan – and the wider Muslim world. The unwarranted commentary about Pakistan’s judicial system and domestic laws are regrettable,”
The statement from FO further adds “Pakistan is a parliamentary democracy with a vibrant civil society, free media and independent judiciary, which remains fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights for all its citizens without discrimination,”
Pakistan is proud of its minorities, according to the FO, who have equal rights and are fully protected by the Constitution’s fundamental freedoms. To protect against human rights violations, judicial and administrative mechanisms and remedies are in place.
“Pakistan has played an active role in promoting freedom of religion or belief, tolerance and inter-faith harmony. At a time of rising Islamophobia and populism, the international community must exhibit a common resolve to fight xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence based on religion or belief and work together to strengthen peaceful co-existence.”