Islamabad, Aug. 31 (PTI): Granting MFN status to India is not on the table for the time being as Pakistan’s “own interests have to be defended first”, finance minister Ishaq Dar has said.
The remarks by Dar, a close aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, came within days of the World Bank saying in a report that Pakistan will benefit from granting the most-favoured nation (MFN) status to India.
Dar said in an interview with state-run PTV that granting MFN status to India was not on the table “as our country’s own interests had to be defended first”.
He was quoted by state-run APP news agency as saying that the Pakistan government was fully committed to promote cordial relations with all neighbouring countries, including India.
This includes developing meaningful economic cooperation and trade development, he said.
Pakistan moved from a positive list regime to a negative list regime for trade with India last year, significantly increasing the number of items that can be traded between the two sides.
However, Pakistan missed its own December 31 deadline for phasing out the negative list and giving India MFN-status.