MFN-status to India as a 'plot against Pak': Radical groups

MFN-status to India as a 'plot against Pak': Radical groups

An alliance of religious and extremist groups today said Pakistan should settle the Kashmir issue and differences over sharing river waters before it normalises trade relations with India and gives it Most Favoured Nation-status.

The Defence of Pakistan Council, which includes the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, made the demand in a joint declaration adopted at a meeting of the top leaders of the groups.

The declaration described the move to give MFN-status to India as a "plot against Pakistan".

The council demanded that the government should not take any unilateral move to normalise trade relations.

"Before beginning trade with India, the issues of Kashmir and water should be resolved," it said.

The Council's leaders reserved much of their ire for the US and NATO, saying they would launch a country-wide protest if the Pakistan government reopen routes used to transport supplies to American and foreign forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Pakistan shut the supply routes in November in retaliation for a cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Addressing a news conference at a hotel in the heart of Islamabad, the Council's leaders warned they would resist any move by the government to reopen the NATO supply routes.

"This meeting of the Defence of Pakistan Council condemns and rejects the attempts to reopen NATO supply routes under the cover of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security," the joint declaration said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has asked the parliamentary panel to give recommendations for framing new terms of engagement with the US and NATO.
Maulana Samiul Haq, the head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (S), alleged that the government intended to reopen the supply routes but gave no proof to substantiate his claim.

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