Pulwama terror attack: India revokes Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan

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Updated: February 15, 2019 12:37:29 PM

MFN status to Pakistan by India: India had granted Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan in 1996. The decision to withdraw MFN status comes a day after Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF jawans dead.

MFN status to PakistanPulwama terror attack: India revokes Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan

India on Friday announced the withdrawal of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan. The decision comes a day after Pulwama terror attack that left over 40 CRPF jawans dead. Pakistan-based terror group JeM has claimed the responsibility for the attack.

“The most favoured nation status to Pakistan stands revoked,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) at PM Narendra Modi’s residence here.

Also Read: Pulwama terror attack LIVE Updates

Jaitley informed that Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate diplomatic steps to ensure complete isolation of Pakistan in international community.

The minister added that those who committed this henious act or supported it will be made to pay a heavy cost.

He also informed that government will convene an all party meeting on Saturday to discuss the current situation.

A Jaish suicide bomber Thursday rammed a vehicle carrying over 200 kg of explosives into a bus carrying CRPF personnel in Pulwama district. More than 2,500 CRPF personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir around 3.15 pm on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the incident, the CRPF has issued a ‘high vigil’ alert to all its formations in the Kashmir Valley and other places in the state.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack that took place about 20 km from Srinagar. Police identified the suicide bomber as Adil Ahmed, who officials said joined the Jaish in 2018.

India granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in 1996, but the neighbouring country has not yet reciprocated. The MFN status was accorded under WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Both India and Pakistan are signatories to this; and are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which means they have to treat each other and the other WTO member countries as favoured trading partners in terms of imposing customs duties on goods.

Removal of this status means India can now enhance customs duties to any level on goods coming from Pakistan, a trade expert said.

Total India-Pakistan trade has increased marginally to USD 2.41 billion in 2017-18 as against USD 2.27 billion in 2016-17. India imported goods worth USD 488.5 million in 2017-18 and exported goods worth USD 1.92 billion in that fiscal.

Under MFN pact, a WTO member country is obliged to treat the other trading nation in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to customs duty and other levies. India mainly exports cotton, dyes, chemicals, vegetables and iron and steel; while it imports fruits, cement, leather, chemicals and spices.

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