PAKISTAN: EU LINKS MARKET ACCESS WITH ABOLISHING OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
October 28, 2014: The European Union has demanded Pakistan to abolish the death penalty by retaining a moratorium on execution and review its blasphemy laws if it wants to get duty-free access to the European markets.
According to reports, in a meeting with a group of Pakistani lawmakers at Parliament House on Tuesday (October 28), a delegation of 28-state politico-economic union said that if Pakistan keeps the moratorium intact and reviews its blasphemy laws, the union will consider granting it duty-free access to the European markets under its Generalized System for Preferences (GSP) Plus program.
It is pertinent to mention that there is a moratorium on the death penalty in the country since 2008 and only execution carried out in last six years was of a soldier, who was convicted by court martial.
An order issued by former President Asif Ali Zardari in 2008 had imposed a moratorium on the death penalty. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had hinted to lift the moratorium on execution and implement the sentences of death row prisoners following the expiry of presidential order in June last year, however, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed the interior ministry to put the executions on hold till the next order.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Ministry has urged the government to extend the moratorium on death penalty to avail the GSP-Plus. (Sources: pakistantribune.com.pk, 29/10/2014)