Pak’s MFN Status To India Irks Separatists3 November 2011
Srinagar: Pakistan’s decision to grant “Most Favoured Nation (MFN)” status to India has irked the separatist leaders with Hurriyat (G) chairman terming it “rubbing salt and pepper on our wounds” and Hurriyat (M) chairman saying tension will continue to prevail between India and Pakistan till Kashmir issue is resolved. Pakistan cabinet yesterday decided to grant MFN status to India to boost the bilateral trade. A senior Pakistan minister said Kashmiri leadership was consulted by the government. Reacting sharply to the development, Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said Pakistan’s decision is like rubbing “salt and pepper” on the wounds of Kashmiri people. “This is an unfortunate decision. Before taking such a decision, Pakistan should have thought about the ‘oppression’ by India in Kashmir,” he said. The elderly leader said Pakistan has put the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people on “back burner. “ I wonder how Pakistan can forget the sacrifices of Kashmiri people and more importantly the atrocities committed by Indian forces on people of Kashmir. How can they give such a status to India for meager material gains,” he questioned. “Pakistan must not forget that India cannot be their friend. The decision will have a very negative impact on the people of Kashmir and Pakistan as well,” Geelani said. Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwiaz Umar Farooq said these were half hearted and cosmetic measures. “No matter how far both the countries go in improving the economic ties but the fact remains that until and unless the core issue of Kashmir is addressed, the tension between the countries will prevail,” he said. He said although it had become a necessity for Pakistan to grant MFN status to India, things won’t improve until Kashmir is addressed. “We are not against the economic development of any country but ground reality will not change until the political issue of Kashmir is resolved,” he said. Senior Hurriyat (M) leader and DFP chairman Shabir Shah said timing for granting MFN status to India was not appropriate. “The decision taken by Pakistan was unwanted. We want that there should be friendship between India and Pakistan at all levels but the timing chosen by Pakistan to grant MFN status to India was not appropriate and suitable,” he said.