A day after India initiated strong economic action against Pakistan in the wake of the deadly Pulwama terror attack, a senior official from the neighbouring country on Sunday claimed that there was no official word about the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to it from India.
Speaking to GEO News, Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said, “We are looking into the withdrawal of the MFN status by India. We can speak to India about this issue”.
Dawood added that Pakistan can raise the issue at various forums, including the World Trade Organisation as both countries are members of the global trade body.
Two days ago, Dawood had told news agency PTI that they won’t make any “emotional decision” and will respond to the move after due deliberation. “India has removed us from the list of MFN nations but we will not make any emotional decision and will issue a response after making due thinking,” he had said.
On Saturday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from Pakistan with immediate effect. Prior to that, the Centre also withdrew the MFN status, a treatment accorded to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries vis-a-vis other trade partners.
The importance of MFN is shown in the fact that it is the first clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Under WTO rules, a member country cannot discriminate between its trade partners. If a special status is granted to a trade partner, it must be extended to all members of the WTO.