Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar seek huge diplomatic and economic achievement for Pakistan from EU
LAHORE - Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has said that he had met 36 members of European Parliament to enable Pakistan get an extension in the GSP Plus status and the extension was expected by the end of January 2020.
In an interview with APP here on Sunday, he talked about his marathon meeting with Vice President European Parliament Fabio Massimo, Chairman of Committee on Foreign Affairs David Macallister, Chairperson Committee on Human Right besides other members to press for the grant of extension in GSP Plus status to Pakistan.
Governor Punjab Mohammad Sarwar spoke at length of his recent Europe visit and said that he informed the Members European Parliament of Pakistan’s progress on various fronts including strengthening of democracy, improved internal security, economic reforms, minority and human rights protection and efforts for regional peace.
About the benefits of GSP Plus status to Pakistan, he said it had helped in strengthening democracy, creation of jobs for women in the textile sector and partial implementation of labour laws.
To a query, he said Indian lobbyists have launched an aggressive mud-slinging campaign against Pakistan in the European Parliament, adding that he had defended Pakistan’s case successfully how India was committing human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) and posed constant threat to regional peace through its war-mongering in the region.
He said the Members European Parliament were also reminded how Pakistan had suffered due to war in Afghanistan, adding that more than 50,000 Pakistanis lost their lives, Kalashnikov culture and drugs were a result of the Afghan war while eight million refugees were still in Pakistn.
“I informed the European Parliament members that Pakistan opened Kartarpur Corridor as a goodwill gesture to minorities in the country and never took any tit-for-tat action over Indian human rights violations in Kashmir,” he responded, adding that Founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision provided freedom to the minorities in Pakistan and the PTI government was implementing all those golden principles of rights to the minorities.
To another question, he said that the members were informed that the GSP Plus status was of mutual economic benefit as the exports of European Union rose to 47 per cent as compared to Pakistan’s 51 per cent mark.
About economic challenges to the PTI government, he said the country’s economy was improving with every passing day, adding that though the common man was not aware of the facts about country’s current account deficit had decreased to $1.5 billion from $18 billion while Pakistan’s ranking among economic watchdogs had also improved considerably.
On the election of 15 Pakistani-British nationals to the House of Commons in the UK general elections, Ch Sarwar hailed the success and expressed the hope that their presence in the UK parliament would help highlight the sorry plight of Muslims in Kashmir and Palestine.
On forward Bloc within the PTI ranks, Ch Sarwar said there was nothing to worry about as disagreements among party members is beauty of democracy, adding that parliamentarians sometimes feel disgruntled as they had to answerable to their voters. On the doctor-lawyer standoff, he said Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat was in complete control of the situation, adding that there should not be any ill-will between two big institutions.
About the student unions, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar said there was need for a debate on the issue and the government was mulling over the idea, adding that a mechanism would have to be devised where there would be interference of political parties in the working of student unions.