Indian Diplomacy

India to Review Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation Status

New Delhi: After the Indus Water Treaty, India will review the most favoured nation (MFN) status given to Pakistan at a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The decision to review the MFN, which was granted by India unilaterally in 1996, comes in the wake of the Uri attack over which India is weighing options of response.

The MFN status was accorded in 1996 under WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Both India and Pakistan are signatories to this, which means they have to treat each other and the other WTO member countries as favoured trading partners.

According to Assocham, out of India’s total merchandise trade of $641 billion in 2015-16, Pakistan accounted for a meagre $2.67 billion. India’s exports to the neighbouring country were $2.17 billion, or 0.83%, of the total Indian outward shipments, while imports were less than $500 million, or 0.13%, of the total inward shipments.

Modi yesterday chaired a review meeting of 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty during which it was decided that India will “exploit to the maximum” the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water sharing pact.

Attended by national security advisor Ajit Doval, foreign secretary S. Jaishankar, the water resources secretary and senior PMO officials, the meeting also noted that the meeting of Indus Water Commission can “only take place in an atmosphere free of terror”.