Finally! India has withdrawn the unilateral Most Favoured Nation (MFN) Status given to Pakistan on February 15, a day after the dastardly terror attack in Pulwama by Pakistan-sponsored terror elements. The recent letter of Commerce Ministry to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy exposes the uncouth lobby of businessmen/ women and officials who were shamelessly providing MFN status from 1995. It must be remembered that after 1995, at least more than a hundred incidents of Pakistan sponsored terror incidents occurred in India, including the Kargil War, Parliament attack, Kandahar hijack, several blasts in Mumbai including the 26/11. The question is why India continued to give MFN Status to Pakistan which never reciprocated. This is a real Billion Dollar questions as Billions of Dollars of business interests were happening annually in India’s trade with Pakistan.
The reply given to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy by C R Chaudhary, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry on January 1, 2019 exposes the truth that India was maintaining a sham and shoddy stand in dealing with Pakistan and canceling MFN Status for past 21 years, despite being hit by more than 100 terror activities sponsored by Pakistan.
“It is a fact that Pakistan is yet to fully accord MFN status to India, and it maintains a Negative List of 1209 products not allowed to be imported from India and permits import of only 138 products through the Wagah / Atari land border. However, it is important to note that India has consistently maintained a substantial trade surplus with Pakistan, in spite of such restrictions being in place, as is evident from the data of bilateral trade since 1995-96 enclosed herewith. In 2017 – 18, Indian exports to Pakistan amounted to USD 1.9 Billion (more than Rs.14,000 crores) compared to imports of only USD 488 Million ( more than Rs.3500 crores) from Pakistan.
“Any retaliatory action by India in the nature of suspension of the MFN status already accorded to Pakistan runs the risk of Pakistan imposing further restrictions on imports from India. In view of India’s substantial trade surplus with Pakistan, retaliatory steps by the two sides are likely to impact India in a relatively more adverse manner. In light of the complexity of the issue and trade surplus in favor of India, a decision on suspending or modifying the MFN status accorded by India to Pakistan has not been considered yet,” said letter written by the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry to Swamy on January 1, 2019.
After the Pathankot attack, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in 2016 went to all Government forums demanding to scrap MFN Status to Pakistan. Then in October 2016, Swamy wrote a detailed letter to Government demanding the dubious Cement import from Pakistan. In his detailed letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swamy pointed out that many of these Cement companies from Pakistan are controlled by ISI top officials and how it collapses India’s domestic Cement companies and chances of arms smuggling in cement bags. Though the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sought an explanation from the Ministry of Commerce, no clear reply was given. Nirmala Sitharaman was the Commerce Minister then. Currently, the Commerce Ministry is headed by Suresh Prabhu. The Cement import from Pakistan was given a huge cut in duty by UPA Government in 2007 when the tainted, corrupt P Chidambaram was Finance Minister.
We are publishing the Commerce Ministry’s letter to Subramanian Swamy below. This letter exposes that around Rs.18,000 crores worth annual trade was going on between India and Pakistan and this letter exposes many dubious lobbies were behind these huge tradeoffs, while Pakistan was sponsoring terror in India. This letter exposes that Ministry of Commerce was supporting the business interests of certain Groups and persons from minting money for the past 21 years in trade deals with Pakistan. The worst was the Minister telling Swamy not to escalate the demand for withdrawal of MFN status to Pakistan, while the terror harboring country was doing all wrong things on India. It is a well-known fact that Delhi-Chandigarh-Mumbai based business gangs were behind these trade activities with Pakistan and their money power bought the political and bureaucratic leadership for the past two decades.
At last, after more than four years, Narendra Modi decided to crack the whip. It is time for the Modi Government to identify the pro-Pakistan business lobby in India. We must identify those people and companies who put their business interests first, ignoring the National interest.
Ministry of Commerce’s letter dated January 1, 2019 to Subramanian Swamy on MFN status to Pakistan is published below:
 MFN status should be scrapped until Pak becomes democratic in true sense: Swamy – Sep 29, 2016, Deccan Chronicle
 Swamy urges PM to ban import of cement from Pakistan – Oct 4, 2016, PGurus.com
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