After the dastardly terror attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir took the lives of 45 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Thursday, India hit back against Pakistan over its role in abetting terrorism. Chief among the early suite of measures was the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to the neighbouring nation.
The decision to revoke the MFN status granted to Pakistan came after a crucial meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to discuss the security framework in Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also attended it.
The decision was taken by the CCS as India suspects Pakistan's hand in the attack carried out by the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on the CRPF convoy. Arun Jaitley said that the external affairs ministry will initiate all possible steps to ensure that Pakistan remains isolated from the international community.
What is the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status?
MFN status is a level of treatment accorded by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to all international trade partners to ensure equitable and fair trade between all confederate countries of the WTO without any discrimination. The main idea behind the MFN status is to create and increase trade relations and to decrease trade barriers to help promote trade between two or more countries. The status allows smaller countries to partake in the advantages that the larger countries grant each other, as these countries are unable to negotiate by themselves.
India vs Pakistan
The MFN status was granted to Pakistan by India in 1996, whereas Pakistan is yet to consider the same status to India. The status was awarded to Pakistan just a year after the formation of the WTO. India's revoking of the MFN status would affect Pakistan badly as it will lose all the trade concessions it has been availing from India.
Due to the enmity that has prevailed in both the countries for a long time now, there is not much trade happening between the countries but revoking the status may lead to illegal trade between the two countries.
The Pulwama attack has been termed as 21st century's biggest attack on India by a terrorist organisation. In the attack that took place on February 14, a CRPF convoy comprising 78 buses was attacked at Awantipora by UN-designated Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM. The convoy was carrying around 2,500 personnel who were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber named Adil Ahmed Dar who was a member of the outfit since 2018. He rammed a Mahindra Scorpio SUV carrying nearly 350 kilograms of explosives into the convoy.
All the leaders have condemned the terror attack and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Pakistan has made a huge mistake" and full access will be given to the forces of the nation to avenge the attack.
The opposition has also extended support to the decision made by the ruling government in the aftermath of the attack. Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the "entire Opposition stands with the government and the jawans."
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan still remains silent and unapologetic over the issue?