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Government will take a diplomatic decision on Most Favoured Nation: BJP


New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Siddharth Nath Singh on Tuesday said that the government will take diplomatic steps with regard to the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan.

“Be it the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ or the Indus Water Treaty, the government sees the matter, the government is examining everything and till the central government does not come up with something, we should not be commenting,” Singh said.
“But the government is serious about giving a message to Pakistan diplomatically, and whatever is required within the armoury to give a message to Pakistan, that enough is enough,” Singh added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting on Thursday in which the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status granted to Pakistan will be reviewed. Post Uri terror attack, India will now decide whether to withdraw the status to that country.

The decision comes a day after Modi held a meeting with top officials to review the Indus Waters Treaty. Top officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and Commerce Ministry will be in attendance.

The review meetings comes after the Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed, following which India has made it clear that ties with Pakistan will never be the same again. India has already reiterated its stand of isolating the country globally and has called for nations to follow suit.

Modi consulted with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and other top officials to discuss whether a reconfiguration of the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan was among the steps that the government should take as a response to attacks from Pakistan.

“Blood and water cannot flow together,” the PM had said in the meeting. Sources say the government has kept its option of reviewing the treaty on the sharing of the waters of six rivers with Pakistan open.

India is debating a series of steps to tighten pressure on Pakistan after the September 18 attack on an army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, in which 18 soldiers were killed by terrorists of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad.

India granted “Most Favoured Nation” status to Pakistan unilaterally in 1996 but Islamabad is yet to reciprocate. The term means that the country granted the status receives equal trade advantages.

If the government withdraws the move, the impact will be mainly symbolic because bilateral trade between the neighbours represents a fraction of India’s overall goods trade.

Calling out on Pakistan for inciting the worst violence in several years in Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday warned that Islamabad must “abandon this dream” about using terror attacks to “obtain territory it covets.


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