November 25th, 2011
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Pak protests grant of MFN status to India

pak-protestIslamabad: Pakistan’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), an Islamist charity linked to outlawed militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, organized a protest in Lahore against the Pakistan Governments move to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trade status to India. JuD leaders who addressed the rally accused India of being behind the shortage of water that is affecting Pakistani farmers. Several farmers, riding tractors, participated in the rally which wound its way from from Azadi Chowk to Nasir Bagh Chow in Lahore.

Senior JuD leader Ameer Hamza told the protesters that the organisation’s chief, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, had assured Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani that the outfit would oppose any move by the Pakistan government to give India MFN-status.

“For the past 17 years, WTO and IMF and other international Jewish organisations, the slaves of America, and the United Nations which is also a servant of America, have been pressurising Islamabad rulers to grant India the Most Favoured Nation status. But all governments dodged the request. Some attached it to the Kashmir issue; some attached it to the plight of Muslims in India, while others attached it to the water dispute. But bravo to the present government of Zardari and Gilani, who took the decision overnight to please their friends,” Abdul Rehman Makki, Vice Chief of Jud told the charged crowd.

The crowd later set an Indian flag on fire.

Pakistan’s Cabinet unanimously decided earlier this month to grant India the MFN trade status, a major breakthrough that could bolster efforts to improve relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals. Trade has long been tied to political issues between the hostile neighbours, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

There are hopes that progress in trade ties will help boost a fragile peace process, which the two countries resumed in February, with political implications likely to outweigh any practical benefits.


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