ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar said Monday that the government was not currently considering granting most favored nation trading status for India, despite hope that PM Sharif would move quickly on the issue once in office.
Pakistan announced in 2011 that it would grant India most favored nation trading status, something India did in 1996. But domestic pressure from businesses worried about competition prevented the previous government from following through.
Now it appears that tension with India could be causing the current government to also put on the brakes.
“Most favored nation status is not under immediate consideration,” Dar told a private news channel in an interview.
The statement came when tensions have flared again in the heavily militarised Kashmir valley with the nuclear-armed neighbours both pointing the finger at each other.
Earlier on Monday, Pakistan had summoned India’s deputy ambassador to protest over the latest clashes in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir that left one civilian dead.
The Pakistani military accused India of “unprovoked firing” across the de facto border in the early hours of Monday morning, the latest in a series of violent confrontations in Kashmir.
The latest incident took place when “Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing in the wee hours Monday” in three areas along the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC), a military official said.