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EU keeping eye on ‘crackdown on PTI’ after May 9 attacks: ambassador

09:53 AM | 9 Jul, 2023
EU keeping eye on ‘crackdown on PTI’ after May 9 attacks: ambassador
Source: Twitter

Dr Riina Kionka, the European Union Ambassador to Pakistan, expressed the organisation’s keen interest in the “crackdown on the PTI and its supporters following the events of May 9” in the country. Her remarks were made in a video statement addressing the extension of Pakistan’s GSP Plus status.

Ambassador Dr Kionka provided an overview of Pakistan’s current GSP Plus status, explaining that the proposed extension of the existing regulations implies no immediate change for Pakistan. The country continues to enjoy the same trade preferences and access to the European market as before.

However, she emphasized that Pakistan remains obligated to implement the 27 international human rights conventions. The European Union will closely monitor progress and submit reports to the European Parliament regarding Pakistan’s compliance.

Dr Kionka highlighted specific areas where the EU hopes to see improvement from Pakistan, including freedom of expression, freedom of the media, freedom of religion and belief, the treatment of minorities, women’s rights and gender equality, as well as labour rights. She also referenced the situation concerning the “crackdown on the PTI.”

In her statement, Ambassador Dr. Kionka clarified that the proposed extension of the current regulation applies not only to Pakistan but also to all eight beneficiary countries of GSP Plus. She stressed that nobody wants to disrupt the trade preferences, as it would negatively impact Pakistani exporters, factory workers, their families, European businesses reliant on Pakistani suppliers, and European consumers.

Regarding human rights monitoring, Dr Kionka mentioned international NGOs focusing on the use of military courts and anti-terrorism courts in the trial of individuals involved in the May 9 events. She highlighted that Pakistan, as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has committed to upholding the right to a fair and public trial, ensuring independence, impartiality, and competence of the court, and providing adequate legal representation for every individual.

The ambassador’s statement gained attention within political circles. Hammad Azhar, PTI’s Punjab secretary-general, shared her video and emphasized the importance of the GSP Plus status for Pakistan’s exports. He acknowledged that it comes with human rights and governance responsibilities, mentioning the EU ambassador’s mention of press freedom and the crackdown on Tehreek-e-Insaf and military courts.

Bilal Azhar Kayani, coordinator to PM Shehbaz Sharif on economy and energy, swiftly responded to Hammad Azhar’s tweet, accusing him of conspiring against Pakistan’s GSP Plus status. Kayani implied that the PTI’s actions against the IMF program and their involvement in recent incidents undermined the country’s interests. He dismissed the notion of any conspiracy affecting the GSP Plus status, as previous conspiracies had been foiled.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 13 April 2024 Forex Rates

Pakistani currency remains largely same against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 13, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 12 April 2024

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