In a strong message to Pakistan, India on Friday withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan. The decision was taken after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan stands withdrawn. The ministry of commerce will issue necessary notification in this regard” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the CCS meeting which was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
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India asserted that there is “incontrovertible evidence” about Pakistan’s direct hand in the gruesome terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama yesterday and will “initiate all possible steps” to ensure complete isolation of the country.
“The ministry of external affairs will initiate all possible steps… all possible diplomatic steps, which have to be taken to ensure complete isolation of Pakistan of which incontrovertible evidence is available of having a direct hand behind this gruesome attack,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley told reporters that an all-party meeting will be convened, possibly tomorrow after the return of Home Minister Rajnath Singh from Kashmir to brief on the situation arising out of the terror attack.
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India had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, a year after the formation of World Trade Organisation (WTO), but Pakistan never accorded the same status to India. Under the international trade rules, MFN is a treatment accorded to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries.
A CRPF convoy, while moving from Jammu to Srinagar yesterday, was attacked by a suicide bomber in Lethpora area on the national highway killing 40 CRPF personnel. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.