Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW (The Pakistan Economy Watch) has said demands to accord Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status toIndiaare against the economic and national interests.
Pakistani importers may save a billion dollars per year ifIndiais declared MFN but it can damage local industry, increase infiltration, and trigger terrorism, said
He said that India granted MNF status to Pakistan in 1995 but it proved to be a trick as local exports could not pick up due to the non-tariff barriers that include different clearances, inspections, certifications, specifications, labelling, marking and packaging rules etc.
In addition,Indiahas also imposed a number of de facto trade barriers to stop Pakistani exporter from making inroads in its market.
That is whyIndiahas kept a soft tone in its demand for MFN status byIslamabadas she knows that they never granted real MFN status toPakistan.
“Political relations between the two countries are unlikely to become stable soon therefore it is not advisable to increase dependence onIndia,” he said adding that strategic considerations also matter in the overall scenario.
He said that enhanced bilateral trade with will boost human traffic flow making it difficult to check infiltration. A strain in relations can push the two countries to ditch commitments as experienced in past.
Indiawould only be justified in demanding special status if she removes trade barriers and provide opportunities of Pakistani exporters, he said.
Indian should also change its attitude which is compellingPakistanto divert resources to less desirable sectors which is barring development and pushing poverty, said Dr. Mughal.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal
President Pakistan Economy Watch