Local Goa News

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

India pulls out of SAARC summit, may revoke MFN status to Pakistan

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "blood and water can't flow at the same time", the government on Tuesday declared that regional cooperation and terror don't go together and pulled out of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit scheduled in Islamabad in November.

Sources said that the move was aimed to isolate Pakistan diplomatically. They added that other nations like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan had also said "no" to the summit in Islamabad, in the wake of Pakistan's continued abetment of cross-border terror. Under the SAARC charter, the summit cannot take place if any of the eight-member countries does not attend.
Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will convene a meeting on Thursday to review the Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Pakistan. The PM is awaiting the return of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who are both abroad, to take a final decision.

The government has taken a tough position after Pakistan shut the doors for any investigation into Uri attack. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the Uri attack was a "reaction to the situation in Kashmir" and his defence minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif dismissed the attack as "self-generated".
In reaction to this, the Modi government held a meeting to review options against Pakistan. On Monday, the PM reviewed the water sharing agreement and BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, "this latest step being considered was to create another pressure point for Pakistan."

India had granted the "Most Favoured Nation" (MFN) status to Pakistan unilaterally in 1996 but Islamabad is yet to reciprocate. The term means that the country who grants the status will receive equal trade advantages. But the experts here say, the revocation of this MFN status will hardly have any coercive impact on Pakistan as the trade balance was in favour of India.

The Opposition Congress, however, said the Modi government's coercive measures like reviewing the water treaty agreement and MFN status would not affect Pakistan and called for more stinging measures. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the government had run out of real and substantive options.

Meanwhile, cross-LoC trade, resumed on Tuesday, with a dozen loaded trucks reaching Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) in Uri sector from Srinagar. Reports said that only one truck came from PoK.

Trade had also been suspended on August 4 this year after Pakistan traders reportedly stayed away from work for a week initially, to protest civilian killings in the Valley. They said they wanted to express "solidarity with the people of Kashmir."

DNA India News

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