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Posts tagged as MFN

Indian media’s false claim of suspending tomato export

LAHORE: Import of Indian tomatoes to Pakistan was stopped almost more than two years ago when the Pakistani government strictly implemented its photosynthesis regulations commonly known as quarantine rules as the Indian exporters suspended export .
The Indian media in war hysteria after Pulwama incident was making false claim of suspending of tomato exports to Pakistan.Pakistan was importing tomato and other vegetables from India mainly through Wagah-Attari border during the shortage of it in offseason. However, this offseason opportunity was converted into regular exports of Indian vegetables including tomato, potato, garlic, ginger, cauliflower and other seasonal vegetables which resulted in damaging Pakistani farmers’ income.
The framers complained with the then government about violations of the photosynthesis regulations in import of perishable vegetables from India which not only was hitting the farmers’ income but also could be a continuous threat to Pakistan’s agriculture in shape of transfer of agriculture diseases to the country.Mozam Raza, deputy collector Customs posted at Wagah while talking to The News confirmed that not a single consignment of tomatoes or any other vegetables had crossed the Wagah-Attari border after December 2016.
Previously, some day 20 trucks and some day 30 to 35 trucks carrying vegetables majority of tomato consignments crossed the Wagah-Attari border.Only 8 to 10 trucks are crossing from Attari to Wagah nowadays after the Indian government slapped 200 percent duty on Pakistani products by withdrawing Most Favored Nation (MFN) status from Pakistan, Mozam said, adding that not a single Pakistani consignment crossed Wagah border to Attari since then.
Currently, cotton yarn and plastic chemical is being imported from India out of which almost 80 percent is cotton yarn imported by big industrial units, he added.He mentioned that when he was in Customs anti-smuggling department, tomato was being smuggled from Chakhoti Sector where trade route is working for intra-Kashmir trade.
However, the Custom was tipped off about smuggling of Indian tomato from Chakhoti Sector and Islamabad Customs intelligence also intercepted the activity. After successful raids by the anti-smuggling unit, it was also stopped, he further added.
Some occasional activity of tomato smuggling was reported later, which was also controlled as the price was not viable for smuggled tomato to trade. An official of Customs anti-smuggling unit said the department increased its vigilance when the price of tomato increased in the country, especially in Lahore and other districts of Punjab as chances of arrival of smuggled tomato increased.
LAHORE: Import of Indian tomatoes to Pakistan was stopped almost more than two years ago when the Pakistani government strictly implemented its photosynthesis regulations commonly known as quarantine rules as the Indian exporters suspended export due to quarantine issues reported in their produce.The Indian media in war hysteria after Pulwama incident was making false claim of suspending of tomato exports to Pakistan.
Pakistan was importing tomato and other vegetables from India mainly through Wagah-Attari border during the shortage of it in offseason. However, this offseason opportunity was converted into regular exports of Indian vegetables including tomato, potato, garlic, ginger, cauliflower and other seasonal vegetables which resulted in damaging Pakistani farmers’ income.
The framers complained with the then government about violations of the photosynthesis regulations in import of perishable vegetables from India which not only was hitting the farmers’ income but also could be a continuous threat to Pakistan’s agriculture in shape of transfer of agriculture diseases to the country.Mozam Raza, deputy collector Customs posted at Wagah while talking to The News confirmed that not a single consignment of tomatoes or any other vegetables had crossed the Wagah-Attari border after December 2016.
Previously, some day 20 trucks and some day 30 to 35 trucks carrying vegetables majority of tomato consignments crossed the Wagah-Attari border.“Only 8 to 10 trucks are crossing from Attari to Wagah nowadays after the Indian government slapped 200 percent duty on Pakistani products by withdrawing Most Favored Nation (MFN) status from Pakistan,” Mozam said, adding that not a single Pakistani consignment crossed Wagah border to Attari since then.
Currently, cotton yarn and plastic chemical is being imported from India out of which almost 80 percent is cotton yarn imported by big industrial units, he added.He mentioned that when he was in Customs anti-smuggling department, tomato was being smuggled from Chakhoti Sector where trade route is working for intra-Kashmir trade.
However, the Custom was tipped off about smuggling of Indian tomato from Chakhoti Sector and Islamabad Customs intelligence also intercepted the activity. After successful raids by the anti-smuggling unit, it was also stopped, he further added.Some occasional activity of tomato smuggling was reported later, which was also controlled as the price was not viable for smuggled tomato to trade. An official of Customs anti-smuggling unit said the department increased its vigilance when the price of tomato increased in the country, especially in Lahore and other districts of Punjab as chances of arrival of smuggled tomato increased.

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Adil Ahmed Dar, a lethal example of how Imran Khan’s softness has allowed Jaish-e-Mohammad to embrace global jihad

His testament could have been just another teenager’s Instagram holiday video, complete with tasteless graphics, low-grade mood-music, and the faux-machismo of the B-grade Bollywood potboiler. “It has taken a year of waiting, and god’s blessings, to get to this point. By the time you get this message, I’ll be frolicking in paradise”. Except that Adil Ahmed Dar was telling the story of how he was going to kill, and die.

File image of Masood Azhar. Reuters
File image of Masood Azhar. Reuters
Thursday’s car bombing isn’t significant because it’s the first suicide bombing by an ethnic Kashmiri: 17-year-old Afaq Ahmed Shah, the quiet introverted son of a Srinagar school teacher, blew himself up outside the XV Corps headquarters in 2000. Nor is the scale of the carnage unprecedented: in 2001, 34 were killed in a car-bomb attack on Kashmir’s Assembly.

Thursday’s attack—the most lethal in the state since September, 2016, when 19 Indian Army soldiers were killed at Uri—still tells us something important. The Jaish-e-Mohammad, the consistent author of the most spectacular terrorist attacks in Kashmir, has shaken off the shackles placed on it by prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government in Pakistan. This sunrise will have consequences in Kashmir, and beyond.

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the strike is a stern test: will he, elections ahead, retaliate across the Line of Control, as he ordered the army to do after Uri, or hold his fire since the attacker is an Indian national?

From Ahmed’s testament, we know how the village boy from Kakapora, in central Kashmir’s Pulwama district, understood his war. “The time is not far,” he proclaims, “when the azaan will sound again from the towers of the Babri Masjid. The more you oppress us, the more lions will rise across India to wage jihad against you.” He vows “a terrible vengeance”: “you drinkers of cow urine cannot resist our wrath.”

To other young people in Kashmir, too, Ahmed had a similar message. “Your enemy is not just the enemy of Kashmir’s freedom,” he declaimed, “but of your faith itself. They want to deprive you of Islam, and seduce you into a life of vulgarity and worldliness.”

Behind the words lie a lethal reality: for months now, the Jaish has been blossoming in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s not-so-naya Pakistan, systematically expanding its infrastructure and capabilities.

Last summer, Firstpost had broken news that the Jaish-e-Mohammad was building a new training complex on Bahawalpur’s fringes, adding to its existing headquarters in the city. The terror group’s house-magazine, al-Qalam, described rallies it was holding across rural Punjab (in Pakistan) and asking for donations of ushr (religious tithes) from farmers.

In one typical report, al-Qalam quoted a leader identified as “Maulana Ammar” speaking at a mosque in Pattoki, not far from Nawaz Sharif’s home town of Raiwind, seeking donations because “jihad was a mandate of the Shari’a”.

The story was much the same in 2016, when the Jaish struck at the Indian Air Force’s base in Pathankot. Former prime minister Sharif had shied away from confrontation with the Jaish, knowing it had powerful patrons in the Pakistan Army. In 2016, a videotape surfaced showing young men collecting funds in Karachi, for “the brave young men of the Jaish-e-Mohammed who are fighting for the victory of the name of god and Islam”—this even though the terrorist group is proscribed by Pakistan’s own laws.

Earlier that year, Jaish attackers had struck at the Indian diplomatic mission in Mazhar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, leaving a message written in blood: “revenge for Afzal Guru” — the terrorist hanged for his role in attacking the Parliament House in 2001.

But, faced with the prospect of an India-Pakistan crisis after Pathankot, Sharif moved against the Jaish, publicly accepting its complicity. He also ordered the arrest of Masood Azhar. The army, however, stepped in to ensure that Azhar was only detained at an Inter-Services Intelligence-run safehouse in Islamabad.

From house arrest, Jaish chief Masood Azhar railed against Sharif. “The rulers of our country are sad that we have disturbed their friends,” Azhar wrote. “They wish to arise on the Day of Judgment to be judged as friends of (Prime Minister Narendra (Modi) and (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”

In another article, Azhar described Nawaz Sharif as a “traitor”, “even worse than (General) Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari”. He concluded: “Pakistan’s rulers have reduced their own country into a heap of ashes. Every single one of them comes, spreads fire and then escapes abroad.”

Last year’s Pakistan elections saw the Jaish throw its weight behind Prime Minister Khan—cheered on by the Pakistan Army. “Choose the party that is pious and reject the corrupt,” wrote Talha Saif, one of Masood Azhar’s brothers. “Pick a party that rejects fohashani [vulgarity] and uriyani [nudity].”

The sentiments—even the exact words—figure in Ahmed’s suicide video.

Prime Minister Modi’s Uri strikes—of far more limited military value than Bollywood might have led people to believe—were in fact mainly intended to send a message. Pakistan’s army had persuaded itself that India would not strike across the Line of Control, for fear of sparking a cycle of escalation that would lead to a costly war. India’s focus on economic growth, and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, were seen in Islamabad as a shield, guarding against the consequences of terrorism.

The cross-Line of Control strikes questioned that assumption, making clear that, push come to shove, India was willing to throw its military dice in the air, and gamble on where they might land.

Even though the Jaish’s army backers had succeeded in sabotaging prime minister Sharif’s efforts to rein it in—an investigation against the group went nowhere, even though Pakistan was given precise names and phone numbers for suspects—the group thus operated very softly.

Following Khan’s rise, though, the Jaish became increasingly defiant. “Flags of the jihad are flying on every street-corner in Kashmir, and we are victorious in Afghanistan,” Masood Azhar wrote in one article last year “Prepare yourself to be Muslim who practices his faith with the mujahideen”.

At around the same time, we know would-be suicide bomber Adil Ahmed had joined the Jaish—and the process of grooming him for his mission had begun.

In 2018, the Jaish stepped up the tempo again, hitting military targets across Kashmir—a campaign that culminated its strike on an army camp in Jammu.

“To Delhi, O’ Hindus, the army of the Prophet will soon return,” reads a giant mural over the entrance of the Jaish-e-Muhammad’s headquarters at Bahawalpur. Inside the building, there is a swimming pool, stables, training grounds and accommodation for hundreds of students. “The life of nations depends on martyrs,” Masood Azhar wrote in the Fathul Jawwad, his disquisition on the Quran. “The national fields can be irrigated only with the blood of the best hearts and minds.”

For many young people, groups like the Islamic State and the Al Qaeda offer a template for liberation, not the failed religious nationalism of groups like the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. This youth cohort, fired by global jihadism, offers an unprecedented opportunity for the Jaish.

From the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC814 to the Parliament House attack, the Jaish has shown it means business. For New Delhi, there are no easy options.

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Pulwama terror attack: India withdraws Most Favoured Nation (MNF) status to Pakistan, says Jaitley

In the worst ever terror attack in the Valley, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden Scorpio SUV into a CRPF bus in Pulwama in Kashmir.
By |New Delhi | Related News Pulwama attack: India says will make Pakistan pay, Opposition stands with govtChina refuses to change stance on listing JeMs Masood Azhar as global terrorist by UNStrong US-India relation core of our approach to Indo-Pacific: Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Arun Jaitley briefs media after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting (Express Photo by Anil Sharma)A day after 38 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmirs Pulwama district, India on Friday withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan.
Briefing the media after attending a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in New Delhi, senior Cabinet minister Arun Jaitley said the Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all-out effort to isolate Pakistan for orchestrating the dastardly attack on the CRPF personnel.Advertising The bus was ferrying over 40 soldiers, and was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles with 2,547 CRPF personnel, moving from Jammu to Srinagar.
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as a 20-year-old local resident from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Pulwama attack LIVE updatesThe Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible diplomatic steps which are to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan of which incontrovertible is available of having a direct hand in this act, Jaitley said, adding that it will withdraw the MNF status granted to the neighbouring country in 1996.
Most Favoured Nation is a treatment accorded to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries vis-a-vis other trade partners. The importance of MFN is shown in the fact that it is the first clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
Under WTO rules, a member country cannot discriminate between its trade partners. If a special status is granted to a trade partner, it must be extended to all members of the WTO.
Soldiers deployed on the highway after the attack on Thursday. (Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said those who committed the heinous act will pay “a heavy price”.
“Those who did the heinous act will have to pay a heavy price. Those who supported it will definitely be punishment,” PM Modi said.
“To all my colleagues, in ruling and Opposition, it’s a sensitive time. We need to speak in one voice because this battle is for us to win.
As condemnation poured in from all quarters, Prime Minister Modi Thursday promised that the “sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain”, while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who blamed Pakistan for the terror attack, said a “strong reply” will be given

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