LAHORE              -          Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has expressed hope that extension in GSP-Plus status by the European Union would help further increasing Pakistan’s exports by 9.5 per cent.

Talking to the media at Governor House here on Saturday, he said that the EU had taken the decision of extending status for another two year despite opposition of India.

“I had held meeting with more than 30 members of European Parliament during my visit to Brussels in December last year. On my request, European Parliament’s Vice President Fabio Massimo Castaldo has also paid his first ever visit to Pakistan. After that, Pakistan has managed to secure further extension in GSP-Status due to our well-conceived strategy,” Chaudhry Sarwar said, adding, he had talked to European Parliament Vice President and other members and thanked them for the initiative.

“Extension in GSP-Plus status is actually the world community’s confidence in successful economic policies, peace and stability in Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he said. “I am happy to play role when Pakistan got the status last time. I successfully lobbied this time for getting the status again,” he said. “Pakistan had increased its exports by 65 per cent and got benefits worth 15 billion dollars. Benefit of 15 to 20 billion dollars is expected from the current extension that will prove to be momentous to further strengthen Pakistan economically,” he said.

To a question, he said, “Many of the European Parliament members have told me that India has been lobbying against Pakistan on the matter of GSP-Plus.” He said that Pakistan’s efforts for combating climate chang, tree tsunami project, controlling narcotics smuggling, merger of FATA, Ehsaas Programme, Kartarpur Corridor Project, and legislation and measures to protect rights of women, children and transgender have widely been appreciated in the European Parliament. Governor Punjab said that Pakistan’s role was important in the Taliban-America Peace Deal, and we pray that this peace deal may achieve success as peace in Afghanistan is indispensable for peace in the region.” He expressed hope that the European Parliament would also pass a resolution against controversial Indian citizenship law and Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.