The review meeting on the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan, which was to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, has been postponed to next week. The review meeting was in response to the September 18 terrorist attack on Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 18 soldiers were killed by Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorists.
Earlier this week, PM Modi had called a meeting with senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to weigh India’s options on trade-related relations with Pakistan. The decision to review the MFN status comes close on the heels of a meeting called by the Prime Minister on the Indus Waters Treaty.
Contrary to what the name suggests, the MFN status does not grant any special treatment to Pakistan. Technically, by granting MFN status to Pakistan, India is committed to treat Pakistan the same way it would treat every other WTO member country in relation to the tariff being imposed on goods. On the other hand, Pakistan has not granted the MFN status to India and this issue has been raised on numerous occasion during bilateral discussion between the two countries.