A day after 38 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, India on Friday withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan. Briefing the media after attending a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in New Delhi, senior Cabinet minister Arun Jaitley said the Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all-out effort to isolate Pakistan for orchestrating the dastardly attack on the CRPF personnel.
In the worst ever terror attack in the Valley, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden Scorpio SUV into a CRPF bus in Pulwama in Kashmir. The bus was ferrying over 40 soldiers, and was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles with 2,547 CRPF personnel, moving from Jammu to Srinagar. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as a 20-year-old local resident from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Pulwama attack LIVE updates
“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,” Jaitley said, adding that it will withdraw the MNF status granted to the neighbouring country in 1996. 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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said those who committed the heinous act will pay “a heavy price”.“Those who did the heinous act will have to pay a heavy price. Those who supported it will definitely be punishment,” PM Modi said. “To all my colleagues, in ruling and Opposition, it’s a sensitive time. We need to speak in one voice because this battle is for us to win.
As condemnation poured in from all quarters, Prime Minister Modi Thursday promised that the “sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain”, while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who blamed Pakistan for the terror attack, said a “strong reply” will be given.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said: “The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to take all necessary measures to safeguard national security. We are equally resolved to fight against the menace of terrorism. We demand that Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries.”
“The immediate priority will be this – how will you make Pakistan accountable for what happened. For that, whatever steps, tactically strategically and diplomatically, should be taken,” Madhav, BJP in charge of Jammu and Kashmir, said.
India has also been trying to get Masood Azhar, the chief of the terror outfit JeM, to be listed as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council – a move consistently blocked by China.