Vice-President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala. (Image credit: Reuters)
Vice-President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala. (Image credit: Reuters)

EU wants Pak to rapidly implement minority, women rights protection acts to continue its GSP plus status

ANI | Updated: Nov 16, 2021 05:00 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 16 (ANI): European Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautala has said that the bloc would like to see a bit more rapid implementation of the laws by Pakistan, particularly anti-torture law, sexual violence, and protection of women and children rights in order to continue Islamabad's Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status, reported local media.
In the past six months, the European Parliament has passed two resolutions to review Pakistan's GSP Plus status, which will expire in 2023, if not withdrawn earlier.
Emphasising that the two resolutions were a "signal" to the Pakistani government that there was no guarantee that the GSP Plus scheme will continue, Heidi in an interview with The Express Tribune said that the continuation depends upon the further implementation of the UN conventions.

Underlining that the abuse of the blasphemy law and protection of civic rights triggered the European Parliament resolutions, Heidi said that the 27 UN conventions oblige the Pakistani government to respect minority rights.
In 2014, Pakistan had won the GSP plus status that is expiring in the next two years.
Heidi also said that very soon there will be a European Commission Monitoring Mission in Pakistan. The mission will have a long list of questions to be asked from the government about the implementation of certain laws, reported The Express Tribune.
Pakistan is the largest beneficiary of the current GSP plus scheme since 2014 -- zero per cent duty on several hundred products under the current regulation, which will expire on December 31, 2023, and to which the new proposal will become the successor, said Dawn. (ANI)