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European Parliament lacks understanding of blasphemy legal guidelines in Pakistan, says FO

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  • FO says discourse in European Parliament displays a lack of expertise within the context of blasphemy legal guidelines in Pakistan.
  • Says unwarranted commentary by European Parliament about Pakistan’s judicial system and home legal guidelines was regrettable.
  • FO assertion comes a day after European Parliament adopted a decision in opposition to Pakistan for a evaluation of nation’s GSP Plus standing.

The Overseas Workplace (FO) on Friday expressed disappointment over the European Parliament’s decision on Pakistan and stated that the physique lacks the contextual understanding of Pakistan’s blasphemy legal guidelines.

“Pakistan is disappointed at the adoption of a resolution at the European Parliament on blasphemy laws in the country. The discourse in the European Parliament reflects a lack of understanding in the context of blasphemy laws and associated religious sensitivities in Pakistan – and in the wider Muslim world,” stated Overseas Workplace Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in an announcement.

The assertion added that the “unwarranted commentary” by the lawmaking physique of the regional bloc “about Pakistan’s judicial system and domestic laws” was “regrettable”.

Learn extra: EU offers Pakistan beneficial evaluation for GSP+ standing

The FO reminded the EU that Pakistan is a “parliamentary democracy with a vibrant civil society, free media, and independent judiciary”. It reiterated that Pakistan stays “fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights for all its citizens without discrimination”.

“We are proud of our minorities who enjoy equal rights and complete protection of fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution,” stated the FO. It added that the judicial and administrative mechanisms and cures are in place within the nation to assist guard any particular person “against any human rights violations”.

“Pakistan has played an active role in promoting freedom of religion or belief, tolerance, and inter-faith harmony. At a time of rising Islamophobia and populism, the international community must exhibit a common resolve to fight xenophobia, intolerance, and incitement to violence based on religion or belief and work together to strengthen peaceful co-existence,” stated the FO.

Learn extra: PM Imran Khan’s aide says misuse of blasphemy legal guidelines stopped in Pakistan

Chaudhri reminded that Pakistan and the regional bloc have a number of mechanisms to debate “entire spectrum of bilateral relations, including a dedicated Dialogue on Democracy, Rule of Law, Governance and Human Rights”.

He added that Pakistan “would continue to remain positively engaged with the EU on all issues of mutual interest”.

EU parliament desires Pakistan’s GSP plus standing reviewed

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a decision in opposition to Pakistan which asks for a evaluation of the nation’s GSP Plus (GSP+) standing, citing a rise in legal guidelines that it sees as discriminatory in the direction of minorities and basic rights.

The decision was offered by Renew Europe, a liberal, pro-European political group of the European Parliament. It was adopted with a majority of 681 votes in opposition to six.

The decision says Pakistan has violated the circumstances of its Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus standing.

Learn extra: Pakistan to unite Muslim nations underneath one banner in opposition to Islamophobia, says PM Imran Khan

The GSP+ is a particular part of the GSP scheme that gives further commerce incentives to creating nations already benefitting from GSP.

The GSP+ standing granted to Pakistan requires the nation to reveal progress on the implementation of 27 worldwide core conventions. This situation constitutes sturdy leverage for the European Union when it comes to monitoring any direct advocacy with Pakistan, stated the European Fee.

The EU Parliament session mentioned the state of affairs of non secular freedoms in Pakistan underneath its “human rights and democracy resolutions” manifesto.

Learn extra: EU accepts Pakistani rice exporters’ plea on why India should not get unique rights to export basmati

Sajjad Karim, a former negotiator on GSP plus and a part of the EU Parliament commerce committee says the adoption of this decision is “serious.”

He stated it’s backed by the chair of the Overseas Affairs Committee David McAllister and former chief election observer to Pakistan from EU Michael Ghaler – each of whom had been beforehand at all times supportive of GSP+ for Pakistan.

He stated Ghaler raised his considerations with him over the subject a while in the past.

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