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India to review 'MFN' status to Pakistan; PM Modi to chair high-level meet today

By: Binit Maity on: Sep 29, 2016 at: 08:16:41


Seeking to step up pressure on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting on Thursday to take a relook at the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to its immediate neighbour.

The decision to review the MFN by the Prime Minister comes in the wake of the Uri attack over which India is weighing options to respond.

The meeting follows India's decision on Monday to revisit the 56-year-old Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan, in the wake of the September 18 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri that killed 18 soldiers.

India granted the MFN status to Pakistan in 1996 but the neighbouring country has so far not reciprocated.

The meeting, according to sources, may deliberate upon the option of dragging Pakistan in the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism for not according similar status to India.

According to obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO), member countries shall extend MFN status to each other automatically unless otherwise specified in the agreement or the schedule notified to the WTO by the member country.

In 2015-16, India's exports to Pakistan stood at USD 2.17 billion, while imports were USD 441 million.

As per the WTO rules, India can roll back the MFN status from Pakistan.

India's main exports to Pakistan include sugar, cotton, man-made filaments, chemicals, carpets, furniture fresh fruits and vegetables while its imports comprise mineral fuels, precious stones, wooden handicrafts among others.

India, which has blamed militants from Pakistan for the Uri attack, has been moving on several fronts against Pakistan as part of its response to isolate the neighbouring country diplomatically for "exporting terror".

Source: Zee News

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