India withdraws Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan

Modi says India undermined Pakistan nuclear threat

NEW DELHI: India on Friday announced the withdrawal of Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan.
The move followed a cabinet meeting during which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed on a recent attack on Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir, in which 44 paramilitary soldiers were killed, Indian media reported.
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in a press briefing said that Modi’s cabinet had decided to initiate steps to ensure complete diplomatic isolation of Pakistan.
“The MFN status that had been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn,” he added. In the World Trade Organization (WTO), this status means non-discrimination — treating virtually everyone equally. “Each member treats all the other members equally as ‘most-favoured’ trading partners. If a country improves the benefits that it gives to one trading partner, it has to give the same “best” treatment to all the other WTO members so that they all remain ‘most-favoured’,” explains the WTO website.
“The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible steps ─ and I’m referring to […] diplomatic steps ─ which have to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan,” Jaitley said on Friday, adding that there is “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistan “having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist incident”.
Following Thursday night’s attack, Islamabad strongly rejected any insinuation 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.
“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations,” the spokesperson had asserted.
It is pertinent to mention here that Indian investigators have yet to reach Pulwama, the site of the attack. A 12-member National Investigation Agency team is expected to travel to occupied Kashmir to help police conduct a “forensic evaluation” of the site of the attack, NDTV reported.
The Indian finance minister said that the foreign ministry would “also engage with the international community to make sure that the comprehensive convention on international terrorism, which has been pending for over three decades before the United Nations, particularly because of the definition of the word terrorism, is now adopted at the earliest.”
“As far as our security forces are concerned, we will be taking all possible steps, firstly to ensure that full security is maintained, and secondly, to ensure that those who have committed this heinous act of terrorism and those who have supported it actively are made to pay a heavy cost for it,” he said.
The finance minister said that Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh would be leaving for Srinagar with a team of officials. Upon his return, he will be calling an all-parties meeting to brief them on the situation, Jaitley said.

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