Hours after India revoked the Most Favoured Nation (status) to Pakistan, advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood told PTI they won’t make any “emotional decision” and will respond to the move after due deliberation. The Centre withdrew the status to Pakistan after 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a terror attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama yesterday. Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Speaking to reporters in Islamabad in this regard, Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood said that a response to India’s decision would come 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 said.
Most Favoured Nation is 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.
“The Ministry of External Affairs (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,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said earlier in the day.
The withdrawal of the MFN status would significantly hit Pakistan’s exports to India, which stood at USD 488.5 million (around Rs 3,482.3 crore) in 2017-18. However, a finance ministry official from the neighbouring country told the impact of India’s decision will be marginal.
“As the trade between the two countries was just over USD 2 billion dollars and Pakistan’s exports were a fourth of it. So, Pakistan is not going to lose much in terms of money in the short term,” the official said.