Ahead of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech at UNGA this evening, Congress demanded special Parliament session to discuss security situation in the country. It wanted Pakistan be declared a terrorist state. The party also put forward a proposal to withdraw the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan, a media report said. Tension between the two nations escalated after deadly Uri attack in which 18 soldiers were killed by alleged Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.
The MFN status was accorded in 1996 as per India’s commitments as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). According to the MFN principle of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) — to which India is a signatory/contracting party — each of the WTO member countries (including India and Pakistan in this case), should “treat all the other members equally as most favoured trading partners.”
Yesterday, industry body Assocham said that trade relations between countries remain “abysmally low”.
“India-Pakistan trade relations are abysmally low accounting for less than half a per cent of India’s total global trade involving both exports and imports,” the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in a release in New Delhi.
“Out of India’s total merchandise trade of $641 billion in 2015-16, Pakistan accounted for a meagre $2.67 billion,” it said. “In all, trade with Pakistan was equivalent to 0.41 per cent of India’s global merchandise commerce,” Secretary General Assocham D.S. Rawat said in the statement.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ said the perpetrators of the Uri terror attack would be punished and the Army did not speak but exhibited its valour.