Islamabad, European Union”s (EU) key member countries want Pakistan to eliminate the death penalty and child labour in the country so as to support Pakistan for the EU Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) status. The GSP Plus allows duty free treatment to eligible beneficiary countries on their exports to EU markets, reports the Daily Times.
The GSP Plus scheme states that the beneficiary country must have ratified and implemented 27 United Nations conventions relating to human rights, good governance and environment. Since the Pakistan government has ratified all 27 international conventions and also fulfilled other criteria of GSP Plus, the country will hopefully be included in the GSP Plus scheme of 2014 onwards, the paper said.
There have been reservations for Pakistan on two conventions, Convention against Torture and (CAT) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), it added. A few years ago, the exclusion of Pakistan from the GSP Plus scheme has placed the country in a difficult situation, the paper said.
During bilateral consultation, EU officials were appreciative of ratification of International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and convention against torture. However, officials have expressed their concerns on the number of reservations Pakistan had registered while ratifying these conventions, it added.
The Ministry of Commerce in consultation with relevant agencies has revisited reservations that were expressed earlier. The government of Pakistan has now withdrawn seven of the nine reservations. They include reservations about “anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or communication”, it further added. The other reservation is that “no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.