Is the EC trying to help Pakistan get GI tag for basmati to pressure India?.

The European Commission (EC) appears to be working with Pakistan to help Pakistan obtain a Geographical Indication (GI) label for its basmati rice, although India’s request for a GI for basmati has been in cold storage since July 2018. Two weeks ago, the European Commission published its eAmbrosia database which shows that Pakistan has applied for GI for its basmati rice. But there are surprising aspects in the whole Pakistani request. Islamabad Released Definition of Basmati Rice Mandatory for GI Label on 28 Aug 2023 Neighbor Status Updated on eAmbrosia on 24 Aug 2023!

Why hold back?

“This shows active communication and facilitation between the Pakistani authorities and the EC. “The million dollar question is why the European Commission eAmbrosia sought public distribution status for Pakistan’s basmati rice from August 2023,” wondered S Chandrasekaran, GI expert and author of Basmati Rice: The Natural History Geographical. Note”. July 2023 The European Commission responded to a question from the Rice Millers Federation: “The Commission is reviewing India’s request for the protection of Basmati as a geographical indication. The process is ongoing, so no more details can be given at this stage. However, experts question how the EC registered Pakistan’s GI application on eAmbrosia even before its definition was published.

The window proposal

In March 2021 Pakistan and Nepal were in 2010 against India’s GI application to the EU by sending notifications. After that, EC started negotiations between the three countries, but it did not give results. “From March 2021 to August 2023, the EU offered Pakistan an opportunity to prepare an application for GI for basmati rice. According to EU standards, it must complete the case (GI application) within six months,” said. , contested, canceled and abandoned”. The application is provisional and applies to the application acceptance category. During the period of publication of the application, the application undergoes serious research.

Is a diplomatic crisis upon us?

Chandrasekaran said the next step for Pakistan’s application is to publish it in the EC Gazette. But this could lead to a diplomatic crisis. “There are definitely two factors that India is going against – the historical reputation and the card that Pakistan offers,” Chandrasekaran said. The problem is that Pakistan sends a map that shows Jammu and Kashmir as part of its territory. “The moment the EU releases the app, it will show a map of Pakistan, including Jammu and Kashmir. It is a direct challenge to India’s sovereignty,” said the expert, who did not want to be identified.

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