Pakistan Urdu Press: November 01-04, 2011
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  • MFN status to India, Separating Kashmir and trade is a dangerous attitude: Ummat

    Editorial (excerpts) Nov.4, 2011

    Whether it is defence, politics, trade or culture, the importance of relations with India cannot be negated. However, any engagement would be acceptable only when it is on an equal footing. A section of Pakistani people believe that granting India MFN status without the consultation and approval of the parliament is a result of external pressure and this step is tantamount to cutting Pakistan’s own roots. They ask 'how can Pakistan grant an MFN status to the killer of thousands of Muslims in Kashmir?'

    It argues that if Pakistan approaches this issue purely from an economic point of view, it would be loss making deal. During 2009-10, the trade volume between the two countries was $1.4 billion in which Pakistan’s share was $260 million while India’s share was $1.2 billion dollars. At the same time it says that separating Kashmir and trade is also a dangerous attitude. Until the issue of Kashmir is resolved as per the wishes of Kashmiri people, there can be no lasting peace in the region nor any justice to Kashmiri people. In the end it asks 'can we offer India a hand of friendship even if the Indian forces continue to kill the Kashmiri people?'

    Providing MFN status to India would help correct the past mistakes: Mashriq

    Editorial (excerpts) Nov.4, 2011

    Pakistan and India are two neighbourly nations. Not only they share their borders but there is also a similarity between the two cultures and because of this reason, granting MFN status to each other was quite natural. Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah also had provided India an MFN status which was approved by national leader Liaqat Ali Khan. This agreement was nullified in 1961. After half a century, both are only reviving that treaty. Whatever the mistakes were made in the past cannot be compensated but providing MFN status to India would help correct the past mistakes.

    Sensitive issues of Kashmir and the water dispute should have been taken into account before reaching to this decision: Khabrein

    Editorial (excerpts) Nov.4, 2011

    Pakistan’s decision to provide India an MFN status is a welcome step. This suggests that Pakistan is willing to establish good relations with its neighbours, be it Afghanitsan, India or Bangladesh.

    The cabinet is claiming that all the stakeholders were taken into confidence before this decision but the standing committee expressing its annoyance over the decision has sought clarifications from Makhdoom Amin Faheem. Against this context, it becomes obligatory on the government to assure the parliament and take the national leaders into confidence otherwise doubts would continue to be cast on this decision.
    Though the trade between the two countries would open new avenues for development but the two sensitive issues of Kashmir and the water dispute should have been taken into account before reaching to this decision. It is necessary on Pakistan to have a talk with India over the two issues because it is in the nature of Hindu baniyas to renege on their promises.

    This decision is akin to killing our “national interests by our own hand and burying it later”: Nawa-e- Waqt

    Editorial (excerpts) Nov.4, 2011
    The editorial of Nawa-e-Waqt argues that the entire Pakistani nation is angry over this decision. It says that those who remain watchful of the country's security have termed it as “fall of Dhaka” and a bigger incident than the surrendering of Pakistani forces to the India in 1972. Granting India more opportunities of bilateral trade is tantamount to providing them a chance to occupy the foundations of the country in the garb of access to the markets, argues the editorial. It also says that it is the most tragic issue that the decision to harm the country’s security was taken by a party whose founder chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had vowed to fight with India for 1000 years.

    Opening of Pakistani markets for Indian goods would have a similar effect on our trade and industry like Bolloywood is having on the Pakistani film industry. This decision is also similar to killing our “national interests by our own hand and burying it later”.
    The editorial also argues that this decision has also jolted Kashmiri people’s aspirations to achieve liberation from India. It says that 'now this is the responsibility of the Parliament not to approve this anti Pakistan decision because this decision is akin to offering our security to the enemy on a platter'.

    The MFN decision would have an adverse impact on morale of Kashmiri people and will send a wrong signal to international community whose attention Pakistan has been drawing for Kashmir cause: Ausaf

    Editorial (excerpts) Nov.4, 2011

    There is no doubt that there are lots of benefits of having more trade with the neighbours. However, it is not wise to provide MFN status to a neighbour who has stopped Pakistan’s water and has created a drought-like situation in the country, argues the Ausaf editorial.
    “Did we think how the MFN status to India will impact on liberation movement and the morale of Kashmiri people who have been offering their blood to this movement only since they love Pakistan? Did we think of the message that it would send to the international community and how it would affect the thinking of whose attention we have been drawing for the cause of Kashmir? Would they not think that Pakistan has accepted the status-quo on Kashmir and rising above the Kashmir problem they have started to establish their relationship with its neighbour?”

    It says that the government must be asked as to why it did not think it necessary to debate the issue in the parliament; “If they think that for Kalabagh dam issue a national consensus is necessary, why didn’t they think it necessary to take this decision through a national consensus?”

    The MFN status: A welcome step that would generate employment and help eradicate poverty: Express

    Editorial (excerpts) Nov.4, 2011

    This decision should be welcomed because it will strengthen Pakistan's trade relations with the neighbour. This would provide them an opportunity to come further closer not only in the field of trade but also on a societal level. This will open new avenues of trade across the border and it will help generate new employment opportunities and thus will help eradicate poverty.

    This decision is a proof to the fact that the Pakistani leadership not only realises the changing realities but is also taking practical steps to reflect the change. But in some circles, doubts are being cast that Indian goods would flood into the Pakistani market and thus would have a negative impact on Pakistani trade and industry. To answer these fears, Pakistani government should try to achieve a balance and should ponder on the ways to increase Pakistan’s export to India. In this context, it is hoped that India would positively reply to this Pakistani gesture.

    Pakistan has no option to choose ‘trade’ over ‘aid’: Jang

    Editorial (excerpts) Nov.4, 2011
    Jang editorial argues that this decision should be viewed from the perspective of normal trade relations and economic interests attached with each other. The previous government’s stance in this regard was that before providing trade concessions to New Delhi, we should make progress in resolving the Kashmir issue.

    We have been arguing that if we improve our trade relations, we will create a congenial environment which will pave the way to resolve complicated issues. The goal of ‘Aman Ki Asha’ was that we should take advantage of the opportunities that have been provided to us by the virtue of being neighbours. In the past, reservations were expressed in the context of trade relations between America and Canada but later it proved to be a success. Similar reservations are being expressed about trade relations with India in certain sections of Pakistan. China also promoted its trade relations with its neighbours despite having severe differences over border issues. As regards the Kashmir issue, the trade between both sides of Kashmir has already been started. Now that needs to be extended to other parts of India. This will provide new life to our film industry and exchange of trade delegations would revive our hotel industry as well as tourism. We can also get support of India in WTO to get access to the European market. Pakistan has no option to choose ‘trade’ over ‘aid’. This is the way through which we can proceed towards self reliance, argues the editorial.

    Translated and complied by Shamshad A. Khan and Amit Julka, Research Assistant and Research Intern respectively at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.