February 15, 2019
A day after the dastardly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, India has withdrawn the Most Favoured Nation (MNF) status accorded to Pakistan.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while addressing the press after concluding the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg today said that the MFN status to Pakistan stands withdrawn.
The MFN status to Pakistan was given by India in 1996. Most Favoured Nation status is given to an international trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between all partner countries of the WTO.
A country which provides MFN status to another country has to provide concessions, privileges, and immunity in trade agreements. It is the first clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The CCS meeting was convened in the aftermath of the deadly terror attack on security forces in Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, in which at least 37 Central Police Reserve Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.
Jaitley said that a detailed assessment of the incidents that led to the attack was taken in the meeting. Several details were discussed in the CCS, all of which cannot be shared, he said.
He said that the government will go for all diplomatic steps to ensure isolation of Pakistan by the international community.
“The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible diplomatic steps that have to be taken to ensure complete isolation of Pakistan, of which incontrovertible evidence is available, for having a direct hand in this gruesome incident,” Jaitley said.
He also said that the MEA will engage with the international community to make sure that the Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism is now adopted.
“As far as the security forces are concerned, they will be taking all possible steps to ensure that full security is maintained and that those who have committed and actively supported this heinous act are made to pay a heavy price,” Jaitley added.
A wreath-laying ceremony for the martyred soldiers will be held in Srinagar today for which Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be leaving. Also attending the meeting will be Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik.
A review meeting with top security and intelligence officers to find out the security lapses that causes the attack will be held there.
Jaitley said that the CCS extended its deep gratitude to those who made this sacrifice and expressed condolences with bereaved families.
The CRPF will make arrangements for transporting the bodies of the martyred soldiers to their families, he informed.
A CRPF convoy comprising 78 buses in which around 2,500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar was targetted by UN-designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) on February 14.
A bus, in which 42 CRPF personnel were travelling, was extensively damaged in the blast which was followed by firing on the vehicle.
JeM claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out by a suicide bomber Adil Ahmed Dar and released a video of him soon after the attack. He was reportedly part of the Pakistan-based terror group since 2018.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack and asserted that the sacrifices of the brave security personnel will not go in vain. He said today that the forces will be given full freedom to avenge the attack, adding that “Pakistan has made a huge mistake”.
President Ram Nath Kovind too condemned the attack and assured that the entire nation is united to fight against the forces of terror and evil.