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No MFN status to Pakistan as the country has not fulfilled its obligations Akbar informs Parliament

There is no proposal to grant ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status to Pakistan, to promote bilateral trade the government told the Parliament last week.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said India has accorded MFN status to all WTO members, including Pakistan, in accordance with the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. It is unfortunate that Pakistan has not fulfilled its international obligations in this regard, so far.

There is no proposal before the government to review the MFN status to Pakistan the minister told the house.

Replying to separate question, Akbar said SAARC has been unable to achieve its potential as key initiatives, including in the important area of connectivity, were held back due to “lack of response and obstructionist” approach of Pakistan.

Several SAARC member states expressed their inability to participate in the 19th SAARC Summit that was scheduled to be held in November 2016 in Pakistan due to concerns arising from increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of member states by that country, the minister said.

He also said that India remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free from terror.


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