Pakistan rules out possibility of giving India 'Most Favoured Nation' status: report

Published: May 11, 2015
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Giving India the MFN status would have further sharpened the trade imbalance in favour of India, says Basit. PHOTO: AFP

Giving India the MFN status would have further sharpened the trade imbalance in favour of India, says Basit. PHOTO: AFP

LUCKNOW: Pakistan has ruled out all possibilities of India receiving the status of ‘Most Favoured Nation’ in the near future, Times on India reported.

During a meeting organised by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said that even though Pakistan had been given the status of MFN by India in 1996, it was not very helpful for the country as the balance of trade remained greatly inclined in favour of India.

“Giving India the MFN status would have further sharpened the imbalance in favour of India,” Basit said.

Read: India not threatened by Pakistan-China economic corridor: envoy

Further, as Basit stated, bilateral trade between India and Pakistan is worth $2.5 billion only, which in his opinion is minute compared to the trade with China.

“The only way for Pakistan to increase its imports to India is that it removes some of the non-tariff barriers for Pakistan,” Basit said.

Even after 67 years of partition, Basit said the two neighbours have failed to improve relations. “We have been moving one step forward and two steps backward.”

Read: China reaffirms support for economic corridor

Speaking about the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, Basit said it will not only benefit Pakistan but the whole of south and central Asia.

During President Xi Jinping’s visit, Pakistan and China signed agreements, including a $46 billion economic corridor which involves major construction in some highly unstable areas.

Pakistani and Chinese officials signed a series of more than 50 accords to inaugurate the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will create a network of roads, railways and pipelines linking China’s restive west to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan

This article originally appeared on Times on India

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Reader Comments (22)

  • harkol
    May 11, 2015 - 5:46PM

    Hope India hears the message loud and clear and withdraws the MFN status to Pakistan as well.Recommend

  • oBSERVER
    May 11, 2015 - 5:46PM

    Obviously he has not checked with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before giving this statement. He could be in trouble for ignoring business interests of Hasan Nawaz.Recommend

  • Bewildered
    May 11, 2015 - 5:55PM

    Very good decision. It is simply foolish to help the enemy get stronger at ones own cost. Pakistan should also rescind the useless on-paper MFN status India has given to Pakistan without asking and now is demanding the same from Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nadeem
    May 11, 2015 - 6:58PM

    A good move and well justified. The title ‘Most Favored Nation’ does not reflect the kind of relationship the two countries have at the moment. Let Kashmir get resolved per UNSC resolutions and then both nations see where to go from there. Until then, no business as usual with India.Recommend

  • Unknown
    May 11, 2015 - 7:33PM

    Should be given to China,Turkey ,Indonesia ,maybe America or someother close countryRecommend

  • Rizwan
    May 11, 2015 - 8:48PM

    The reality is that with China Pak economic corridor, we don’t really need india. Sure, trade would be nice to an extent, but the CPEC has unshackled us from the need to open up to india.Recommend

  • Baloch
    May 11, 2015 - 8:59PM

    Good decision by Pakistan. Indian industry and agriculture is protected heavily by non-tariff barriers, including heavy subsidies. Recommend

  • Sardar KHAN
    May 11, 2015 - 9:49PM

    @harkol:
    Tell your government to do it asp.What good this MFN from india has done to Pakistan?None at all only a propaganda tool to the Indians to brag about and in reality puting all the obstacles in its way to stop Pakistani goods to enter into their country.We are better off without this MFN title.Sooner india takes it away the better it will be.Recommend

  • Abdul
    May 11, 2015 - 10:03PM

    So does it mean the trade between China and Pakistan is heavily tilted in Pakistan’s favour?Recommend

  • hzr
    May 11, 2015 - 10:11PM

    This relationship was going on for over six decades and now giving or not giving MFN will in no way impact on India’s trade outside this block and anyway the volumes are miniscule.Recommend

  • Woz Ahmed
    May 11, 2015 - 11:30PM

    The whole idea of trade is that it is a win-win situation.

    Look at any academic research and you will see that trade with India will make both countries richer. Yes the idea of making India richer, doesn’t sit well , but lack of trade it makes us poorer.

    in 2010 $33 billion dollars of Indias exports were routed via Dubai, to third countries, including Pakistan. It’s estimated they add 20% to the cost to the Pakistani consumer.

    http://www.mei.edu/content/uae’s-strategic-trade-partnership-asia-focus-dubai

    We need to think with our heads not our hearts and understand, our cost of living and our industrial competitiveness can benefit from trade.

    China will always dominate our imports, and I can’t see us never having a trade deficit with India or China for the next two decades, but we have to be rational and logical in our decisions and not think with our hearts alone.

    I can’t find the link, but I read how a pharmaceutical company was buying a drug ingredient from Europe for serveral always times the price it was in India, then they realised it was simply a repackaged Indian product and went straight to the source.

    We must do what is right for our nation, but that includes thinking rationally.

    Our biggest threat, in my opinion is not India, but the population timebomb. The most effective way to defuse this bomb, is education, specially for women, but everyday we see articles, where education is failing, we were bottom ten in terms of educational progress over the last 15 years, the other 9 countries were African, according to Unesco.

    Our trade negotiators need to handle India with care and not throw the doors open to a FTA as we did with China and are now trying to renegotiate.

    Love our nation, but take a long view, use your head not your heart.Recommend

  • SK
    May 12, 2015 - 12:34AM

    While, according to Basit resumption of bilateral cricket series is necessary to normalize relationship between India & Pakistan, but granting MFN status is not. What a double standards ? Recommend

  • someone
    May 12, 2015 - 6:15AM

    @SK:
    You see, they need cricket to get millions for PCB but don’t want to do business with India because India may earn from them. Typical Pakistani mentality.Recommend

  • JSM
    May 12, 2015 - 8:40AM

    @harkol:
    India should ignore and forget Pakistan.Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq PK
    May 12, 2015 - 10:34AM

    “LUCKNOW: Pakistan has ruled out all possibilities of India receiving the status of ‘Most Favoured Nation’ in the near future, Times on India reported.”
    Excellent,much the best and august decision/step Pakistani government has taken because the killer of the innocent and sinless Kashmiri people can never be given the Most Favorite Nation status and Pakistan has never to give India the Most Favorite Nation status unless Kashmir’s issue is resolved and giving the Most Favorite Nation’s status to India shall be the betrayal with the blood,sacrifices and martyrdom of the innocent and sinless Kashmiri people and I hope Pakistani government shall never do so……Recommend

  • jagmohan
    May 12, 2015 - 10:51AM

    @Woz Ahmad…………friend you have nicely summed up the problem,that one should
    think and act what mind says and not what heart says.India offered MFN as a good
    business gesture and that may also in due course lead to better relations overall.
    Change of heart as and when happens it can transform the development scenario
    in a big way for all the neighbouring countries,one country’s output is another country’s
    input, and multiplier effect.Any way ball is in Pak’s court,one has only to wait.Recommend

  • Ganesh
    May 12, 2015 - 11:49AM

    @harkol:
    Also raises objection to EU for giving special status to Pakistan in trade as per the WTO Agreement.Recommend

  • Gurion
    May 12, 2015 - 1:43PM

    @Aschraful Makhlooq PK:

    innocent and sinless Kashmiri

    Sir, what have you been smoking?!Recommend

  • Juggernaut
    May 12, 2015 - 6:50PM

    I saw lot of people here talking about Kashmir issue when it comes to trade and economy…thi s is the reason why pakistan where pakistan today…Recommend

  • Sujnyanendra
    May 13, 2015 - 1:05AM

    We aren’t hungry to have any such status. They have failed to eliminate the butcherous status the world has bestowed upon of being a terrorism sponsoring state. It’s an imaginary notion that boosting business & trade between countries could have a positive impact in friendly relations with the neighbours. However, if India has conferred such status, it shows India’s desire of having cordial bilateral relations with Pakistan. As a matter of fact it also reveals Pakistans clear orientation towards hatred regards India. At the end, there’s not much to care about for India on the rejection of any such status by Pakistan.Recommend

  • abcd
    May 13, 2015 - 7:47AM

    @Nadeem:
    Kashmir is already resolved.Recommend

  • Milind
    May 13, 2015 - 1:02PM

    Bewildered – That’s the reason why you’re still where you were a decade back or regressing…
    On the other hand we kept our differences with China aside and boosted our trade with them, with beneficial results.
    As a fellow commentator wb says, Pakistanis and logic are like darkness & light.Recommend

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