Home Latest News PTI Conspiring to Have E.U. Withdraw Pakistan’s GSP+ Status, Claims Tarar

PTI Conspiring to Have E.U. Withdraw Pakistan’s GSP+ Status, Claims Tarar

Information minister accuses PTI of trying to harm national interest by creating false narratives

by Staff Report

File photo, courtesy PID

Information Minister Attaullah Tarar on Wednesday accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of urging the European Union to revoke Pakistan’s generalized system of preferences (GSP)-Plus status, claiming the party was acting against the national interest.

A GSP+ status refers to a special incentive arrangement utilized by the E.U. to promote good governance and sustainable development by facilitating trade. Pakistan was awarded the status, which allows the country duty-free or minimum duty on exports to European markets, in 2014 and it is set to expire in 2027.

“PTI spokespersons are getting instructions from jail to harm Pakistan and a conspiracy is being hatched so that the country’s GSP+ status is withdrawn,” Tarar told a press conference in Islamabad, referring to “instructions” of party founder Imran Khan. He claimed the PTI was alleging a “lack of facilities” for Khan at Adiala Jail as a pretext to attack the GSP+ status.

This, he maintained, was a false narrative that was aimed at damaging the country’s economy. Stressing that Khan was getting “luxurious facilities” in jail that were unavailable to anyone else, he noted the PTI founder had exercise equipment; a separate kitchen; an additional room; and a gallery to walk in. Similarly, he said, Khan had been allowed “hundreds” of meetings during his imprisonment. While prison rules only allow for meetings once a week, he alleged, Khan was initially allowed to meet party officials, lawyers and family members two days a week and was now meeting them four days a week.

Referring to a Punjab government directive banning any meetings at Adiala Jail for two weeks over security threats, Tarar said it was the responsibility of the Punjab government to conduct a security audit and the responsibility of jail authorities to ensure the security of all prisoners.

“A few elements are harming the country for their political purposes and they tried to lead the country to default,” he claimed, referring to the PTI. “A political party does not see the national interest nor does it care about economic recovery,” he said, recalling the PTI had also tried to damage Pakistan’s bid to secure a fresh International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout by writing a letter to the global lender.

The minister maintained the new government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was continuously working to revive the national economy. “The premier is working to end inflation and unemployment,” he added.

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