Press Trust of india

India withdraws MFN status to Pakistan

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New Delhi, Feb 15:  India today withdrew the 'Most-Favoured Nation' status to Pakistan following the deadly Pulwama suicide attack and said it will take all steps to isolate the neighbouring country globally.

In a media briefing after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all efforts will be made to ensure that perpetrators of the attack are brought to book.

"The most favoured nation status to Pakistan stands revoked," he said after the CCS meeting at the Prime Minister's residence.

Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status is given to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries. India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996.

Talking tough, Jaitley said those aiding and abetting the perpetrators will have to pay a heavy price.

He said the Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all-out effort to isolate Pakistan and all diplomatic efforts will be launched in this regard.

"MEA will initiate all possible diplomatic steps which are to be taken to ensure complete isolation of Pakistan in the international community, he said, adding "incontrovertible evidence" is available of Pakistan's direct hand in this gruesome attack.

Sounding a warning to perpetrators, Jaitley said that those behind the attacks will "pay a heavy price" for it.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Srinagar later in the day and would convene an all-party meeting most likely on Saturday to brief political parties on the incident so that the nation speaks in one voice on the issue.

The Cabinet Committee on Security meet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama attack. It was attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sithraman, Finance Miniser Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Forty-nine CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

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