Islamabad [Pakistan], May 6 (ANI): Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said that the European Parliament resolution against Pakistan which asks for a review of the country's GSP Plus (GSP+) status, citing an increase in laws that it sees as discriminatory towards minorities and fundamental rights is "dictation (from the West)".
"We will not take action against anyone on the directives of any country," said Chaudhry on Tuesday, reported Dawn.
Chaudhry said that the government would not take any dictation (from the West) to settle internal issues, including action against banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Later, talking to Dawn, the minister claimed that the issue of GSP Plus status and EU Parliament's resolution was not discussed in the cabinet meeting.
"However, the government is firm in its stance that it will not take any dictation on an internal issue."
Chaudhry said the action that had been taken against the TLP which led to its ban was the government's own decision because the party had violated Islamic norms and laws of the country.
TLP had demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador and a boycott of French goods after Charlie Hebdo republished its Muhammad cartoons in September last year.
The banned group in three days of violent protests last month created havoc across Pakistan, where hundreds of protesters and police personnel were injured and thousands of TLP activists and supporters were arrested and booked for attacking law enforcement personnel and blocking main roads and highways in protest against the arrest of their leader Saad Hussain Rizvi.
The European Parliament resolution was presented by Renew Europe, a liberal, pro-European political group of the European Parliament in April 2021. It was adopted with a majority of 681 votes against six, reported Geo News.
The resolution said that Pakistan has violated the conditions of its Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus status.
The GSP+ is a special component of the GSP scheme that provides additional trade incentives to developing countries already benefitting from GSP.
The GSP+ status granted to Pakistan requires the country to demonstrate progress on the implementation of 27 international core conventions. This condition constitutes strong leverage for the European Union in terms of monitoring any direct advocacy with Pakistan, said the European Commission.
The EU Parliament session discussed the situation of religious freedoms in Pakistan under its 'human rights and democracy resolutions' manifesto. (ANI)