ISLAMABAD–Pakistan on Thursday said its lifting of a six-year-old moratorium on the death penalty would not impact a lucrative trade deal with the European Union which has strongly condemned the move.
The death penalty was extended to all capital cases last week, with a total of 52 people so far sent to the gallows.
“We do not expect that this issue will impact Pakistan’s GSP plus status,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam told a weekly briefing, referring to the deal which means firms pay no tax on certain categories of goods exported to the 27-nation bloc for 10 years.
Pakistani officials have said the GSP+ status had increased Pakistan’s exports to the European Union by more than a billion dollars because it made its products more competitive.
“It is a question of domestic law and legislation and we are engaged with European Union. We have told them clearly our perspective,” she added.
The EU granted Pakistan “GSP+” status in 2014 conditional on Pakistan enacting certain commitments on human rights.
But it has also reiterated its call for the “universal abolition” of the death penalty in a statement issued Tuesday, singling out the case of Shafqat Hussain, whose family and lawyers say was a minor at the time he was convicted of murder, as being of particular concern.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily