India revokes Most Favoured Nation title given to Pakistan

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India on Friday withdrew its most favoured nation (MFN) title for Pakistan in wake of the Kashmir incident that killed 44 paramilitary soldiers in a suicide bombing attack in Pulwama.

In cognizance of the tragic incident, the Indian finance minister announced that the Ministry of External Affairs will initiate all possible steps to prompt isolation from the international community of Pakistan, in doubts over involvement of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

“MEA will initiate all possible diplomatic steps which are to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan of which incontrovertible is available of having a direct hand in this act,” said Jaitley.

The move would enable India to increase customs duty on goods coming from the neighbouring country, It could also lead to increased illegal trade between the two countries, an Indian report cited.

Islamabad has strongly rejected any reference that sought to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations. “We have always condemned acts of violence anywhere in the world,” the Foreign Office said on Friday.

What is the MFN status?

Most Favoured Nation status is given to an international trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between all partner countries of the WTO.

Under rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a member country is not allowed to discriminate between trade partners and if a special status is granted to one trade partner, the country is required to extend it to all members of the WTO.

Since India and Pakistan are part of the WTO, both are required to grant MFN status to each other and other partner countries.
India had granted the MFN status to Pakistan in 1996.

– Pulwama terror attack –

A vehicle laden with explosives detonated, sending shock waves across the area into one of the buses before claiming the lives of a heavy contingent of CRPF personnel and injuring five on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The targeted bus was carrying around 35-40 soldiers when it was passing through Gundipoora section at the time of the incident.

Pakistan-based JeM has identified the suicide bomber responsible for the attack as Adil Ahmed Dar and released a video of him soon after the attack.

Citing the attack, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the forces will be given full freedom to avenge the attack, adding that “Pakistan has made a huge mistake”.