01:55 GMT28 February 2021
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    India has withdrawn Most Favoured Nation status from Pakistan after a terrorist attack on a security personnel convoy killing 37 in Pulwama of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. The decision was taken on Friday morning in a high-level meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the decision withdrawing the "Most Favoured Nation" (MFN) status after the cabinet meeting.  

    "The Most Favoured Nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn. The ministry of commerce will issue the necessary communications in this regard", Arun Jaitley, country's finance minister said in a media briefing outside the Prime Minister's Office in New Delhi.

    India had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. MFN is a treatment accorded to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries vis-a-vis other trade partners.

    Despite frequent cross-border firing, bilateral trade between India and Pakistan has expanded. India's exports to Pakistan keep rising and reached $1924 million in 2017-18 while imports from Pakistan also grew to $488.5 million during the same period. In 2016-17, India's exports to Pakistan were $1821.8 million while imports from Pakistan were $454.5 million.

    The Cabinet Committee on Security also decided that all possible diplomatic steps will be taken by the government to ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan at the international level as the government has alleged that Pakistan had a direct hand in the Pulwama terror attack.

    READ MORE: 16 Injured in Mysterious Kashmir School Blast

    A bomb hit a paramilitary convoy on Thursday, killing 37 officials from India's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Pulwama of Indian-controlled Kashmir. A Pakistan-based Islamist group, Jaish-e Mohammad, has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

    Since 2016, a total of 268 Indian security personnel and 155 civilians have lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir, data compiled by the South Asian Terrorism Portal claims. The highest number of security personnel (95) was killed in 2018, according to the data.


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