MFN is fine but Pak won`t budge on Kashmir: Gilani

Pakistan on Wednesday granted MFN status to India, reciprocating a 15-year-old gesture.

Islamabad: Pakistan may have granted Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India but stands by its stance on Kashmir, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told ministers in his cabinet.

According to Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan, Gilani had told the cabinet that Pakistan would always continue its support for the Kashmir cause and granting MFN status for India would not affect the national stance.

Pakistan would never budge on its stance on Kashmir and would continue its unflinching political, moral and diplomatic support for the cause of Kashmiris, Awan said on Wednesday.

She said that there was no question of any compromise on Pakistan`s stand on Kashmir, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Citing China`s example, Awan said Beijing and India have territorial disputes, but the two countries have expanded their trade in the recent past.

Pakistan on Wednesday granted MFN status to India, reciprocating a 15-year-old gesture.

India had given Pakistan the MFN status in 1996 but Islamabad did not respond positively. Ties between the two countries deteriorated after the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 for which Pakistan was blamed.

Awan said Indian goods are being smuggled into Pakistan, causing a loss to the national exchequer and Islamabad has legalised trade by giving India MFN status.

According to a think-tank, the country will save USD 800 million per annum in terms of trade with India, the minister added.

The cabinet, which met here on Wednesday, was briefed on the steps being taken for normalisation of trade with India.

The cabinet directed the Commerce Ministry to ensure that Pakistan`s vital national economic interests are fully protected.


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