MFN status to India not yet done: Gilani
Islamabad: Pakistan’s flip-flop on granting Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India continues with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani saying that a final decision on the issue is yet to be taken.
Reports, Thursday, said that Pakistan Prime Minister, while addressing the National Assembly, said that Parliament and the people would be taken on board about giving MFN status to India.
However, he told the lawmakers that the procedure had been initiated to move forward in this direction.
Gilani assured the National Assembly that his government would do everything to safeguard the interest of the country.
However, Gilani urged the Opposition to wait for the conclusion of the secretary-level talks between the two countries, currently underway to take a final decision.
Pakistan’s U-turn on the issue comes days after it announced its decision to grant the MFN status to India, which was hailed as a significant step in improving bilateral ties and boosting two-way trade currently standing at USD 2.6 billion.
The MFN status, which means that Pakistan will give trade treatment to India at par with its other partners, is likely to boost the bilateral economic ties. India had granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in 1996. In 2010-11, India- Pakistan trade stood at USD 2.6 billion. Pakistan's move came days ahead of the November 10-11 SAARC Summit in Maldives, where the Prime Ministers of the two countries met.
However, Pakistan soon backtracked, saying the Commerce Ministry has only been tasked to move forward on the issue in bilateral negotiations.