Pak’s “Most Favoured Nation” Status Scrapped After Pulwama: What It Means

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New Delhi:

After the worst terrorist attack on the forces in Kashmir, in which 40 soldiers died, the government decided today to remove the privileges of “Most Favored Nation” granted to Pakistan and said that it would take all measures to guarantee the isolation of the country worldwide. .

“The most-favored-nation status for Pakistan is revoked,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, telling the media about the meeting of the Cabinet Security Committee at the Lok Kalyan Mark home of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

The foreign minister, he said, will initiate all possible diplomatic steps to ensure complete isolation of Pakistan from the international community, adding that there was “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistan’s direct involvement in the attack.

Jaitley also said that those who help and support terrorists “will pay a very high price.”

Most-favored-nation status is granted to a trading partner to guarantee non-discriminatory trade between two countries.

India granted that status to Pakistan in 1996, but Islamabad never reciprocated, despite being forced to do so as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Both India and Pakistan are signatories of the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which means that they should treat each other and other WTO member countries as favored trading partners in terms of customs duties.

Now India can increase customs tariffs at any level on goods from Pakistan.

The government says that, at a time when Pakistan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is struggling financially, India’s move to eliminate most-favored-nation status will hurt the country.

But the movement will be largely symbolic, since bilateral trade between India and Pakistan is only $ 2 billion per year. India exports mainly cotton, dyes, chemicals, vegetables and iron and steel, and imports fruits, cement, leather, chemicals and spices.

Jaitley said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also collaborate with the international community to ensure that the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, pending for more than three decades with the UN, particularly due to the definition of the word terrorism, should be adopted as soon as possible. possible.