India's decision on trade ties with Pakistan will not be emotional: Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Sitharaman said exports and volume will be factored in decision-making.

Amidst the outcry over Pakistan's beheading of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC), Minister for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitharaman said India will take a call on trade relations with Pakistan based on facts.

One of the options before India is trade diplomacy, where India can twist Pakistan's hand by drawing the economic iron curtain.

"Trade happens because of land continuity, if it's a call we need to take together with council of ministers, exports and volume will be factored in decision making rather than being an emotional decision," Minister for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitharaman told India Today.

One of the demands from within the BJP is to re-think the Most Favoured Nation status given to Pakistan.

India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. By virtue of the MFN status Pakistan gets a low trade tariff and high import quota. On the other hand, despite its assurance, Pakistan has not returned the favour to India till date.

Sitharaman said the review of MFN status granted to Pakistan will be a 'collective cabinet decision'.

"The MFN treatment in the WTO is expected to be offered in all countries. As regards the developing political and strategic situation. I rather have a collective decision making on this, it's a collective decision," she said.

MFN status is granted to a country in accordance with international trade practices and WTO regime. A country that has MFN status from another country gets an assurance that it would not be treated disadvantageously in the matter of international trade.

"I think the government has responded and the defence minister has said that recent deplorable action will not be forgotten, the army has said that army will respond at time of choosing. So a lot of time those concerned has made it. Honour of Indian soldiers has been shattered, it is very grey and disheartening time," she said.

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