SRINAGAR – European Union’s ambassador to Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain on Tuesday said the EU, at present, was working on the June 14 report of the UN Human Rights Office that called for an international inquiry into Kashmir situation.
“In diplomacy, we keel the end goal in mind and here, the end goal is to make sure that situation on both sides of Line of Control (LoC) gets improved,” the EU ambassador said in his lecture on ‘EU-Pakistan relations: Challenges and Opportunities’ held here at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).
The EU ambassador said European Union was engaged with India on a number of issues related to Kashmir .
On trade, he said European Union (EU) was committed to building a solid and mutually beneficial partnership with Pakistan.
He emphasized that EU was not meting out any preferential treatment to India over Pakistan, assuring support to Pakistan the in consolidation of its path towards long-term economic development and prosperity.
EU Ambassador Jean Francois said the EU would assess its trade relations with Pakistan by reviewing the report on GSP Plus, based on accurate and already-defined criteria, and also on the implementation of the 27 international conventions linked to GSP Plus.
He said the EU hoped that Pakistan would make the full use of our GSP Plus preferential agreement for the benefit of its citizens.
He said the EU was focusing on the development of Pakistan’s provinces including Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan, however, emphasized that the continuity of funding would depend on the targets achieved.
Jean Francois acknowledged the contribution of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for four decades, however, pointed that the issue of their return would persist till stability in the country was achieved.
“If there is no stability in Afghanistan, the people will always try to escape either to Paksitan or Iran,” he said.
He stressed that “one of the keys to a stable Pakistan was to stabilize Afghanistan”.
To restrict illegal migrants from Pakistan to Europe, he said EU was putting in place a plan with Pakistan so as to reduce the risk of such people falling into the nexus of human traffickers.
Later, President IPRI Ambassador Abdul Basit presented memento to EU ambassador Jean Francois Cautain.