Pakistan will consider all available options to retaliate for the Indian government’s decision to withdraw the Most Favo¬ured Nation (MFN) status, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Advisor on Commerce Razak Dawood has said.
India withdrew the MFN status it gave to Pakistan in 1996 following the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district that has till now claimed the lives of 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers.
Dawood said on Friday that Pakistan might take unilateral measures against India or revoke concessions under the South Asia Preferential Trade Agreement (Sapta) and might take up the issue in the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation, Dawn online reported on Saturday.
“We would not overreact… We would take action with great care,” he added while addressing the media at the office of board of investment on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit.
A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist crashed a car bomb into a CRPF convoy in Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway on Thursday, making it the worst ever attack on security forces on any single day since a separatist campaign broke out in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989. It drew international condemnation.
The attack further damaged the already tense India-Pakistan diplomatic relations, with New Delhi saying it had evidence of Islamabad’s involvement in the carnage. Pakistan, however, dismissed accusations that it had links with the militants behind the attack.
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua met the envoys of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council – US, Russia, China, France and UK – on Friday and denied her country’s role in the dastardly strike.
India, however, rejected Janjua’s claims and said the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”, noting that JeM was based in Pakistan.
A spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry termed as “preposterous” demands for an investigation saying there was a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM.
India also demanded that Pakistan takes immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is currently in Munich, slammed India, saying that New Delhi should have acted more responsibly and engaged themselves with Pakistan by sharing evidence.
“Accusing Pakistan is very easy, you pass the buck,” he said.
“Pakistan has been very clear, our viewpoint is clear, and, specifically, the stance of this government has been plain and simple: we desire peace,” Qureshi said.
“We desire good relations with our neighbours, we neither wish to opt for the path of violence nor has this ever been part of our intentions,” he added.