A group of Italian Senators have urged their Minister the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Economic Development not to support Pakistan’s attempts to renew its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status given to Pakistan in the European Union. European Union (EU) granted GSP Plus status to Pakistan in 2013, which made Pakistani products duty-free in the European market. The Italian textile industry has been hit hard due to the GSP Plus status give to Pakistan and also Pakistan an does not respect the protection of women, the European Organisation for Pakistan Minorities (EOPN), stated Senators as saying in a statement. The leaders have also labeled Pakistan as the cradle of international terrorism.

The question raised mentioned that the GSP Plus status of Pakistan should not be renewed until they fulfill the basic human rights of all and stop all atrocities and persecution against Christians in the country, the statement added. Due to the GSP Plus status, more than 80 per cent of Pakistan’s exports to the EU consist of textile and clothing. The special status allowed almost 20 per cent of Pakistani exports to enter the EU market at zero tariff and 70 per cent at preferential rates.