ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has expressed disappointment at the adoption of a resolution at the European Parliament, which asks for a review of the country’s GSP Plus (GSP+) status in view of surge in in the use of blasphemy accusations.
The foreign office in a statement said that 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.
The unwarranted commentary about Pakistan’s judicial system and domestic laws are regrettable, it added.
“Pakistan is a parliamentary democracy with a vibrant civil society, free media and independent judiciary, which remains fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights for all its citizens without discrimination,” FO said in the statement.
“We are proud of our minorities who enjoy equal rights and complete protection of fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution. Judicial and administrative mechanisms and remedies are in place to guard against any human rights violations,” it said.
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.
Pakistan and the EU have multiple mechanisms in place to discuss entire spectrum of bilateral relations, including a dedicated Dialogue on Democracy, Rule of Law, Governance and Human Rights. We would continue to remain positively engaged with the EU on all issues of mutual interest.
Earlier today, the EU Parliament adopted the resolution presented by Renew Europe, a liberal, pro-European political group of the European Parliament. It was adopted with a majority of 681 votes against six.
The resolution accuses Pakistan of violating the conditions of its Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus status.