Upping the ante against Pakistan after the Uri terror attack, India will now decide whether to withdraw Most Favoured Nation status to that country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting with top officials on Thursday for a review in this regard.
PM Modi consulted with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and other top officials on Monday to discuss whether a reconfiguration of the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan was among the steps that the government should take as a response to attacks from Pakistani soil.
“Blood and water cannot flow together,” the PM had said in the meeting. Sources said the government has kept its option of reviewing the treaty on the sharing of the waters of six rivers with Pakistan open.
India is debating a series of steps to tighten pressure on Pakistan after the September 18 attack on an army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, in which 18 soldiers were killed by terrorists of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad.
India granted “Most Favoured Nation” status to Pakistan unilaterally in 1996 but Islamabad is yet to reciprocate. The term means that the country granted the status receives equal trade advantages.
If the government withdraws the move, the impact will be mainly symbolic because bilateral trade between the neighbours represents a fraction of India’s overall goods trade.
Calling out Pakistan’s serial use of terror attacks in India and its role in inciting the worst violence in several years in Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday warned that Islamabad must “abandon this dream” about using terror attacks to “obtain territory it covets.”