In the aftermath of Uri terrorist attack, the government of India may withdraw or downgrade the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan.
State for Finance Union Minister Arjun Meghwal told India Today that the matter was under consideration of the Modi government.
The MoS Finance confirmed that the economic diplomatic crackdown against Pakistan is very much on the agenda of the NDA government. “Thought process is on to isolate Pakistan on the economic front in view of their consistent support for acts of terror,” Meghwal said.
-SITUATION WARRANTS CHANGE-
Meghwal asserted that India’s security takes priority over trade relations. “When Pakistan was accorded the Most Favoured Nation status, the situation was different. Now, the conditions have changed,” the minister said.
“We have different conditions now. So, we are seriously reviewing the MFN status given to Pakistan. India’s security is always our priority. Trade makes our nation strong but our priority will be security,” Meghwal said.
This is the first time that the finance ministry has admitted that MFN status to Pakistan is under review.
-ISOLATE PAKISTAN GLOBALLY-
Meghwal, the minister who made news for using a bicycle to attend Parliament session, also said that the government is striving to isolate Pakistan globally with more vigour after the Uri attacks. The prime minster has assured that the government would take action at international level.
On the question of isolating Pakistan on the trade front, Meghwal said, “trade routes are reviewed by the BSF and Home Minister. We will act accordingly to make sure Pakistan is isolated.”
Earlier, several retired army officers and political leaders raised the demand for withdrawing MFN status granted to Pakistan. Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday to press for the demand.
MFN status is granted to a country in accordance with international trade practices and WTO regime. A country that has MFN status from another country gets an assurance that it would not be treated disadvantageously in the matter of international trade.
India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. By virtue of the MFN, status Pakistan gets a low trade tariff and high import quota. On the other hand, despite its assurance, Pakistan has not returned the favour to India till date.
Courtesy: India Today