ISLAMABAD: The International Crisis Group (ICG) has asked the European Union and its member states to build a constructive working relationship with the new government in Pakistan on political, security and foreign policy issues of mutual concern.
In its updates on the annual Watch List, the ICG also urged the EU to pursue plans to hold the first official EU-Pakistan Security Dialogue.
“Repairing ties with Islamabad would help undo damage done by former prime minister Imran Khan’s conspiracy narrative,” recommends the ICG document, which was made available online on Friday night. EU should hold talks with the new government on the renewal of Pakistan’s status under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+), which provides substantial trade benefits to Islamabad and is set to expire at the end of 2022, including by moving forward with the European External Action Service’s GSP+ mission that was put on hold amid Pakistan’s political crisis.
The EU should respond positively to the Sharif government’s stated desire to reset the diplomatic ties that the former prime minister’s anti-Western agenda adversely affected.
Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022