Posted on Sep 22, 2021
In a scathing attack on Pakistan's relationship with the Taliban, a fact that is no longer being concealed by Islamabad, the Brussels-based Europe-India Chamber of Commerce (EICC) has called for the EU to suspend its Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) trade agreement with the country.
Under this agreement Pakistan enjoys largely tariff-free trade with the EU and the 27 member states. EICC Secretary General Sunil Prasad highlighted the advantages to Pakistan of the agreement, describing it as a "critical lifeline extended by the EU at a time when Pakistan had few options."
He has now called on EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell to suspend the agreement.
For nearly two decades, though on the surface, Pakistan feigned to act against the Taliban and other extreme elements on its soil, it was all the while playing a double game. The fact of Pakistan’s deep and continued involvement with the Taliban over the past two decades is indeed a major failure of the EU’s own monitoring mechanism and a major judgmental error as the bloc expected Pakistan to follow the letter and spirit of its GSP+ agreement with the EU. Unfortunately, despite our chamber several times raising concern on this issue, Brussels missed the numerous warning signals that Pakistan was disregarding its commitment under the GSP plus trade benefit.
The Secretary General's call comes just one week after leading Human Rights NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers issued a similar call - with the support of an international group of other NGOs - on the basis of Pakistan's continuous abuses of the country's blasphemy laws.
Any doubts about Pakistan's relationship with the Taliban were dispelled when on August 23rd leader of the ruling party, Neelam Irshad Sheikh, announced the fact via social media.
During a recent debate on Pakistani television, he further stated that “Taliban says we are with you and Inshallah we will come with us and give us Kashmir victory... Our army has power, our government has power. The Taliban is supporting us, because Pakistan supported them..."
- International coalition of human rights NGOs calls on Josep Borrell to suspend Pakistan's GSP+ status
- Pakistan: abuse of blasphemy laws in religious schools
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