Envoy says EU looking into recent UN report on Kashmir
July 4, 2018
BY STAFF REPORT
Jean Francois says EU not giving any preferential treatment to India over Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain on Wednesday said that the European grouping at present was working on the June 14 report of the UN Human Rights Office that called for an international inquiry into the Kashmir situation.
“In diplomacy, we keel the end goal in mind and here, the end goal is to make sure that the situation on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmiri gets improved,” he said in his lecture on the EU-Pakistan relations, challenges and opportunities, held here at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).
Ambassador Jean Francois said that the European Union was engaged with India on a number of issues related to Kashmir. On trade, he said that the European Union was committed to build a solid and mutually-beneficial partnership with Pakistan. He emphasised that EU was not meting out any preferential treatment to India over Pakistan.
He assured support to Pakistan in consolidation of its path towards long-term economic development and prosperity. He said that the EU would assess its trade relations with Pakistan by reviewing the report on the GSP Plus, based on accurate and already-defined criteria, and also on the implementation of the 27 conventions linked to GSP Plus.
He said that the EU hoped that Pakistan would make the full use of the GSP Plus preferential agreement for the benefit of its citizens. He said that the EU was focusing on development of Pakistan’s provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan, however he emphasised that the continuity of funding would depend on the targets achieved.
Jean Francois acknowledged the contribution of Pakistan for hosting the Afghan refugees for four decades. However, he pointed out that the issue of their return would persist till stability in Afghanistan was achieved. “If there is no stability in Afghanistan, the people will always try to escape either to Pakistan or Iran,” he said.
He stressed that one of the keys to a stable Pakistan was to stabilise Afghanistan. To restrict illegal migrants from Pakistan to Europe, he said that 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, IPRI President Ambassador Abdul Basit presented memento to Ambassador Jean Francois Cautain.