brussels [Belgium]1 April (ANI): Many EU member states believe that offering Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus to Pakistan would undermine the European values that GSP Plus seeks to promote, Geo-politik reported.
There is widespread concern among many European Union (EU) members about awarding GSP Plus to Pakistan because of Pakistan’s poor record of adhering to international conventions set by the EU as pre-qualification criteria and its lax approach to implementation.
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Pakistan must ensure the implementation of 27 UN conventions in the targeted areas to obtain the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus. Experts believe that if Pakistan, or any other country, is granted GSP status without rigorous scrutiny of its compliance, the values the EU shares are at great risk of being eroded.
According to Geo-politik, the EU’s GSP Plus is a special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance, neither of which is up to par in Pakistan.
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This special incentive arrangement is designed to help developing countries export products to the EU.
According to Geo-politik, many European observers believe that if Pakistan or any other country is granted GSP status without rigorous scrutiny of its compliance, there is a huge threat of erosion of the values the EU shares.
Due to its political and social structure, many human rights violations and abuses of labourers, women and children occur in Pakistan. Even if the Pakistani government were willing to do so, the prevalence of feudal ideology and retrograde religious fundamentalism would not allow things to improve.
The country’s polity is dominated by feudal elements and those who thrive on religious prejudice and notions of jihad. The situation was made worse by religious priests (mullahs) who made their mark on the minds of the poor, illiterate and deprived, according to Geo reports, and according to the index or parameter chosen to measure More than 50% of – politics.
Moreover, the Pakistani state is a complex entity due to the influence and control of the Pakistani military and intelligence services, in addition to religious fundamentalist leaders and terrorist organizations.
The reality on the ground is pretty dire. According to Global Economy.Com, the kidnapping rate was 8.9 per 100,000 people in 2017, compared with 9.1 in 2015, just three years after it was granted GSP status.
Abductions of children, women, United Nations staff and Chinese workers in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project have not been spared. According to Geo-politik, in 2022, there will be more than 900 child abduction cases in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s second largest province.
Human rights organizations estimate that in Pakistan, on average, more than 1,000 underage girls are abducted, forcibly converted to Islam, forced into marriage and raped each year among the Hindu, Christian and Sikh ethnic minorities in Pakistan.
As reported by Geo-politik, the European Union is preparing to adopt a new set of preconditions for beneficiary countries of GSP Plus from January 2024, which will add to the additional international conventions and treaties that need to be adhered to.
Given Islamabad’s past mistakes and omissions in complying with the 27 international conventions previously required, there is much speculation and simmering concerns in Islamabad about losing its GSP Plus status due to the addition of these new and additional standards.
According to Geo-politik, Pakistan has many structural obstacles and a regressive mentality that prevents it from complying with international conventions that are in sync with European values.
The focus of EU regulations requires Pakistan to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions covering a wide range of human rights issues, labor rights and environmental standards.
It is an open secret that Pakistan has neither the intention nor the will to abide by the letter and spirit of these international conventions, which is a prerequisite for GSP status.
Furthermore, according to Geo-politik, Pakistan has completely failed to establish the mechanisms and capabilities needed to implement these conventions.
Ever since Pakistan was awarded GSP Plus by the EU, it has been working hard and desperately trying to prove its worth. But it has been unable to win the EU’s trust by failing to abide by and enforce these international conventions.
That is why EU inspectors have visited Pakistan several times since 2014, the year that Pakistan was first granted GSP Plus, one in 2016 and another in 2022. EU inspectors have been suspicious of Pakistan’s apparent gaps in compliance and enforcement, which Geo-politik reported, and they have warned the country.
From Sindh and Balochistan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, the world has witnessed Pakistan’s human rights violations and the undermining of democratic values and institutions.
Day after day cases of forced kidnapping and killing, reports of injustice and abuse of minorities, excessive use of blasphemous laws and exploitation and subjugation of women and children, sometimes forcing them into slavery are the basic reality of the country.
These fundamental realities have long remained the same, forcing many observers in the EU to question why GSP Plus status should be given to a country that has long failed to adhere to international pacts that represent EU values, reports Geopolitics.
The importance of GSP Plus for Pakistan can be understood from the fact that not only does the EU become its largest export market by 2022, accounting for more than 30% of its total exports, while the US lags far behind at around half, at around 15%.
This is why the Pakistani government and helm were disturbed when the EU announced broader and stricter criteria for GSP Plus eligibility from January 2024, when the reality in the country was neither conducive nor conducive to demonstrating compliance, Geopolitical reporting.
New conventions and treaties will add agreements on transnational crime, the rights of persons with disabilities, the involvement of minors in armed conflict, and labor inspections. Islamabad is well aware that compliance with these additional standards will be very difficult.
Good governance in Pakistan is far from it. Ordinary people in Pakistan, reeling from rising inflation and rising costs of living, are now unable to buy even basic commodities such as wheat flour and medicines. On the other hand, according to Geo-politik, there have been multiple cases of corruption against the country’s ruling elite, including even defense officers. (Arnie)
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