rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » MFN status to India: Pak govt issues confusing statements

MFN status to India: Pak govt issues confusing statements

Last updated on: November 3, 2011 18:04 IST

MFN status to India: Pak govt issues confusing statements

     Next

Next
Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad

Hours after announcing that it would grant the much-delayed MFN status to India, Pakistan government issued several confusing statements which made no direct mention of the significant step aimed at boosting bilateral trade.

Though Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said at a crowded news conference yesterday that the federal Cabinet had unanimously approved a proposal to give India the Most Favoured Nation status, statements issued by the government last night merely said the Cabinet had cleared a proposal for "normalisation of trade relations".

The statements made no mention of the Cabinet approving the Commerce Ministry's summary or proposal for giving India the MFN status, as had been announced by the Information Minister.

Significantly, Awan had announced that all stakeholders, including the powerful military, were "on board" for the move to give India MFN status.

Click NEXT to read more...


Photographs: Reuters
     Next

MFN status to India: Pak govt issues confusing statements

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

After the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Awan's news conference, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Secretariat late in the night said the Cabinet was "briefed on the steps being taken for normalisation of trade with India".

The Cabinet was "apprised about the further steps to be taken in this direction so as to bring trade in line with our international obligations", the statement said, without making any mention of giving MFN status to India.

The Cabinet further directed the Commerce Ministry to "ensure that Pakistan's vital national economic interests are fully protected", the statement said.

Click NEXT to read more...



Prev     Next

MFN status to India: Pak govt issues confusing statements

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Another statement issued by the government on the Cabinet meeting's decisions too said the Cabinet had approved the Commerce Division's proposal for "normalisation of trade relations between Pakistan and India".

The Commerce Secretary made a detailed presentation on trade with India and its historical perspective, this statement said.

Yet another statement that was posted on the Press Information Department website last night, but was subsequently removed, stated that the Cabinet gave the Commerce Ministry the "mandate to take the process of normalisation forward, which would culminate in the observance of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) principle in its true spirit".

This statement said the Cabinet had "fully endorsed the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce for complete normalisation of trade relations and directed to implement in letter and spirit the decisions taken in this regard".

Click NEXT to read more...



Prev     Next

MFN status to India: Pak govt issues confusing statements

Prev     More
Prev

More

A spokesman for the Commerce Ministry, contacted by PTI, declined to comment on the matter and said the government's position was enunciated in the statements posted on the Press Information Department website.

India granted Pakistan MFN status way back in 1996 but Islamabad had so far held out on reciprocating due to opposition from some trade lobbies and religious and hardline political parties which contended that such a move would harm the country's stand on the Kashmir issue.

During Wednesday's news conference, Information Minister Awan said the move to give India MFN status was in line with Pakistan's national interest and would not compromise its stand on the Kashmir issue in any way.



Prev     More
© Copyright 2013 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.