Kashmir blast: India withdraws MFN Status for Pakistan

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By Muhammad Luqman

India has withdrawn the Most Favoured Nation Status it accorded to Pakistan about two decades ago, following a blast in Lethpora area of Pulwama district in the Indian Occupied Kashmir that killed some 44 paramilitary troops.

According to Indian media reports, Indian Union Minister Arun Jaitly announced government’s decision to withdraw the status to Pakistan on Friday, hurling threats to Pakistan.

The abrupt reaction by the New Delhi, according to analysts, is due to the pressure on Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to act against Pakistan to get political mileage for the upcoming general elections. Pakistan has always denied any hand in the ongoing Kashmiris movement for freedom from Indian rule. However, it has been extending diplomatic and moral support to the people of the valley.

Under the MFN status, a WTO member country is obliged to treat other trading nations in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to customs duty and other levies.

India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, a year after the World Trade Organisation was formed  but Pakistan  hasn’t granted India the same.

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.

The military convoy, which was transporting members of the Central Reserve Police Force, was on the national highway when it was struck by a blast from an improvised explosive device on Thursday afternoon.

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