India to review MFN status to Pakistan: ‘Terror can’t be the commodity exported’

INDIA Thursday said it would review the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status it granted to Pakistan based on security and trade interests, asserting that terror cannot be the commodity exported.

Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said the speech by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hailing Hizbul militant Burhan Wani shows Pakistan’s complicity in terrorism directed against India and was “self-implicating”. Sharif had hailed Wani as “son of the Kashmiri soil” while addressing the joint session of Pakistan’s parliament on Wednesday.

“Promoting shared prosperity with neighbours has been the government’s priority but terror cannot be the commodity exported. We will undertake a review based on our security and trade interests,” he said when asked if India will review the MFN status given to Pakistan.

Asked about the recent conversation between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan, he said the Prime Ministers of the two countries had in January agreed that their NSAs will remain in touch and the details should not be made public. “India remains committed not to make it public,” he said.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz was quoted as saying by Pakistani media that India has agreed to reduce tension after their NSAs spoke over the phone. This was the first such contact after the Uri attack and India’s retaliatory surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.

On the reports that Difa-e-Pakistan Council, an umbrella group of jihadi outfits, had organised a rally in Pakistan on October 28, Swarup said India has always voiced its concerns at the freedom available to such internationally designated terrorists in Pakistan to conduct and promote anti-India activities openly.

“It is up to the government of Pakistan to abide by its assurances that it will deny the use of its territory for such purposes,” he added.

Swarup also described as “inflexion point” the recent cancelling of the SAARC summit after several countries of the eight-nation grouping pulled out over cross-border terrorism as till now some were only doing “lip-service” and not doing anything concrete.

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