India to review Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan
New Delhi, Oct 7: India on Thursday said it will review the Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan by it based on the security and trade interests, asserting that terror cannot be the commodity exported.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said that the speech by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hailing Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in Parliament 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 yesterday.
"Promoting shared prosperity with neighbours has been 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 by India, unilaterally.
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."
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 tensions after their NSAs spoke over phone. This was first such contact after the Uri attack and India's retaliatory surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.
Swarup also refused to react to the reports in Pakistani media that Sharif has asked the powerful military not to shield banned militant groups and directed authorities to conclude the Pathankot terror attack probe and the 2008 Mumbai attack trials.
On the reports that Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), a umbrella group of jihadi and Islamist outfits as Hafiz Saeed's JeM, organising a rally in Pakistan on October 28, he 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 "inflection point" the recent cancelling of SAARC Summit after several countries of the eight-nation grouping pulled out over the cross-border terrorism as till now some were only doing "lip-service" and not doing anything concrete.