India as MFN?

In a move that would have been unthinkable only a decade ago reports note that “Pakistan will grant on Friday Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India with a condition of receiving a substantial concessions in trade from New Delhi. The decision is expected to be announced after a special cabinet briefing to be headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a well-placed source in the ministry of commerce told Dawn on Monday. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan had made a conditional offer for granting MFN status to India in January, and had sought access for 250 to 300 items at lowered duties. At the time of the MFN offer, the commerce ministry has not linked the trade liberalisation with the resumption of suspended talks, which raised questions from other stakeholders for ignoring their issues while given the concession to India. As a result, the decision was delayed which was scheduled to be announced in the middle of February during the proposed visit of Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma. However, delay in decision led to postponement of the Indian minister visit to Pakistan”.

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