ISLAMABAD: The European Union (EU) welcomed the progress made by Pakistan in implementing the action plans of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and welcomed the adoption by parliament of the draft law on the protection of journalists and media professionals, which then became law with presidential approval. .
A joint statement issued on Wednesday following the sixth round of the EU-Pakistan strategic dialogue said the EU also welcomed ongoing efforts to implement the remaining FATF action plans.
The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell in Brussels on Tuesday.
The two sides reviewed the ongoing cooperation between Pakistan and the EU on the basis of the strategic engagement plan, the joint statement shared by the Foreign Ministry said here.
They agreed to further strengthen the EU-Pakistan mutual engagement, in particular in the area of ââsecurity and regional cooperation.
FM discusses Afghan situation with NATO chief
The two sides agreed to hold the first meeting of the new EU-Pakistan security dialogue with the sub-groups on non-proliferation, disarmament and the fight against terrorism in 2022.
Mr Borrell and Mr Qureshi reaffirmed their determination to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, with an emphasis on freedom of religion and belief, interfaith harmony, religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence and minority rights.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said he was concerned about the growing trends of Islamophobic acts, xenophobia and religious intolerance around the world and the need for a common resolve to counter them.
Both parties expressed strong political commitment to the GSP + and the implementation of 27 international conventions on human rights, labor rights and environmental protection and related good governance.
Mr Borrell expressed concern about the abuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan.
He hopes that the anti-torture bill and other human rights laws that are before parliament will be passed soon.
Mr Borrell informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of an upcoming follow-up visit of the EU Election Observation Mission to Pakistan.
He welcomed Pakistan’s statement ahead of the Glasgow conference on its contribution to common climate goals.
The High Representative and the Minister for Foreign Affairs had a long exchange of views on the situation in Afghanistan. They agreed on the importance of maintaining a sustained engagement with Afghanistan to promote stability and combat drug trafficking and the terrorist threat.
Both sides have recognized that Afghanistan’s liquidity problems are straining legitimate banking services. They agreed on the need to continue providing urgent and unhindered humanitarian aid and basic social service support to the Afghan people.
The two sides supported the dialogue between the Afghan parties to achieve national reconciliation.
Mr Borrell thanked Pakistan for its support in the evacuation of nationals of EU member countries and the safe passage of people from Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s support for the inclusion of the EU in the regional political consultation mechanism on Afghanistan.
He reiterated Pakistan’s concern over human rights violations by India in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and efforts to change the demographics of the disputed territory in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. United.
Mr. Borrell hailed as an important step in the interests of regional peace and stability the February 2021 agreement between India and Pakistan for the respect of the ceasefire on the line of control and for engage through established mechanisms.
Mr. Qureshi met the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, and exchanged views on the regional situation, including the latest developments in Afghanistan.
Posted in Dawn, December 9, 2021