Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pakistan: Death penalty a barrier to EU market access, Senate told

ISLAMABAD: In a written statement to the Senate on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said that Pakistan's case for greater access to European markets would be substantially weaker if it does not abolish the death penalty.

In the written response, the Foreign Ministry said that the case of Generalised System Preference (GSP) plus status could be weakened by the issue of capital punishment, as the EU seeks its abolishment and has also notified the Pakistani officials on the matter.

The Foreign ministry further said that the issue of death sentence was not a condition but it could pose a threat to the granting of the aspired status.

The status remains crucial as the European Union is one of Pakistan’s the leading trading partners and the upgraded status would grant Pakistani exporters greater access to EU member countries.

Although the EU has previously clarified that the abolishment of the death penalty is not a condition, according to a Dawn report, every aspirant for the GSP Plus status has to sign 27 conventions relating to human rights, child labour, and fair trade practices.

Source: Dawn.com, December 6, 2013