[Belgium], Nov 10 (ANI): A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has shown concerns over EU Commission providing trade subsidies and grants to Pakistan, a country that is supporting terrorism and targeting religious minorities.
Dominique Martin, MEP wrote in his article published by EP Today that European pensioners are suffering whilst EU Commission is funding Pakistani extremists.
"In Greece, the European Commission requires the government to reduce, by at least 20 per cent, the average level of public sector pensions (currently EUR 500 per month), whilst in Germany, Spain and Portugal the Commission is satisfied with measures to reduce healthcare costs for retirees by encouraging them to take odd jobs," he said.
"But where are the European values of solidarity between generations? Is it correct to ask a retiree, after 40 years of hard work, to clean offices or public toilets? Whilst we ask these sacrifices of our parents and grandparents, ironically, at the same time, we see the European Commission extending lavish gifts in the form of trade subsidies and grants towards third countries for the sake of enhancing its profile in those countries", Dominique wrote in an article.
Giving an example of Pakistan he said: "A good example is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a country recently placed on the list of countries supporting terrorism by the United States, France and Germany. Religious minorities, including Christians, are persecuted and often treated as slaves in Pakistan. The young Catholic Asiya Bibi is a symptomatic example. She was in the antechamber of death for daring to commit "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad. She did not commit blasphemy, but merely sensitised people to the discrimination of Christians in the country".
The European Commission has endorsed EUR 347 million in subsidies to Pakistan during 2014 to 2017. At the same time, it has granted Pakistan the benefit of the GSP+, a preferential trade regime which allows for the importation, into Europe, of textile and leather products without custom duties or obstacles of any kind. This equates to more than EUR 6 billion per year.
This GSP+ preferential treatment is granted to Pakistan whilst, at the same time, Pakistan does not actually implement many of the 27 international core conventions that were set as a condition for the granting of the GSP+, particularly those regarding United Nations civil and religious freedoms and respect for the ILO's international labour law conventions. (ANI)