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EU calls to review Pakistan’s preferential treatment over blasphemy law abuse

EU calls to review Pakistan’s preferential treatment over blasphemy law abuse

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What happened: The EU Parliament has adopted a resolution calling to review Pakistan’s GSP+ status among other trade links over concerns on how the blasphemy law in the country is unregulated and how these accusations have been used to target minority groups, journalists, as well as the increasing number of online and offline attacks. 

The GSP+ status: The GSP+ status is a special incentive scheme for low income and middle income countries that slashes tariffs and gives them preferential treatment over trade agreements.

The Resolution: Member of the European Parliament Charlie Weimers of Sweden authored the resolution over concerns of how Pakistan is abusing the blashpemy law in Pakistan and PM Khan relevatizing the holocaust. 

The resolution calls on the Pakistani government to unequivocally condemn incitement to violence and discrimination against minorities.
He further stated that rather than defending the human rights of Pakistani citizens from false accusers, the PM has equated the holocaust and genocide to criticism of their religion. 

Pakistani reaction: The Pakistani Foreign Office said that the European Parliament showed a lack of understanding over the issue. They said that the blasphemy law and religious sensitivity needs to be understood by the European Parliament instead of reviewing trade ties.

Pakistani Human Rights minister asked ‘whether GSP+ status is getting muddled with Islamophobia?’.  She further stated that there are issues that need to be resolved but there has been more movement on the Human Rights front than any previous government.

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