EU calls for reconsidering trade ties with Pakistan amid deteriorating human rights condition

Islamabad [Pakistan]: As Pakistan failed to make meaningful advances in protecting human rights in the country, the European Union has called for an immediate reassessment of the EU-Pakistan trade regime that was granted in January 2014.
The trade regime allows products to come into the EU market from developing countries without import duties. As a result, Pakistan’s exports to the EU increased from Euro 4.538 billion to Euro 7.492 billion: an increase of 65 per cent, EU today reported. As per the reports, the EU is one of Pakistan’s most important trading partners with accounting for 14.3 per cent of Pakistan’s total trade in 2020 and absorbing 28 per cent of country’s exports, majorly in the textile and clothing sector.
But the EU’s 3rd Biennial Assessment of GSP, published in 2020 showed that Islamabad has failed to improve the misery of human rights in the country. Particularly in relation to the country’s controversial blasphemy laws. Those accused of blasphemy are subject to immediate incarceration, and most accused are denied bail. Many, even when acquitted or released from jail, have been murdered, EU Today reported.
Meanwhile, Islamabad’s relations with the Taliban group that ousted the people-elected government in Afghanistan are also said to be a major reason behind this ‘reassessment’.
Pointing at the Pak-Taliban relations, former Afghan vice president Amrullah Saleh also asserted that the Taliban are being micromanaged by Pakistan notorious intelligence agency–the ISI, adding that Islamabad is in charge of the war-ravaged country effectively as a colonial power.
Experts believe that Pakistan has been a key player in removing the elected Afghan government from power and establishing the Taliban as a decisive power in Afghanistan. Recently, a UN Monitoring report has said that a significant part of the leadership of Al-Qaida resides in Afghanistan and Pakistan border region.

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