India-Pakistan Current Affairs - 2020

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Kashmir Solidarity Day: Pakistan invited India for dialogue on Kashmir

Screenshot_8On the Kashmir Solidarity Day, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited India to engage in a “comprehensive, sustained and result-oriented” dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue. The mountainous region of Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than 60 years. The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the Indian leadership would realize the sensitivity of the issue and will respond to his invitation of dialogue in a positive manner and give right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir.

Why is Kashmir disputed?

The territory of Kashmir was hotly contested even before India and Pakistan won their independence from Britain in August 1947.

  • Under the partition plan provided by the Indian Independence Act of 1947, Kashmir was free to accede to India or Pakistan.
  • The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, wanted to stay independent but eventually decided to accede to India, signing over key powers to the Indian government – in return for military aid and a promised referendum. Since then, the territory has been the spark for two of the three India-Pakistan wars: the first in 1947-8, the second in 1965.
  • In 1999, India fought a brief but bitter conflict with Pakistani-backed forces who had infiltrated Indian-controlled territory in the Kargil area.
  • Currently a boundary – the Line of Control – divides the region in two, with one part administered by India and one by Pakistan. India would like to formalise this status quo and make it the accepted international boundary. But Pakistan and Kashmiri activists reject this plan because they both want greater control over the region.
Kashmir Solidarity Day

 

Screenshot_7Also known as “Kashmir Day” is a national holiday in Pakistan.
Celebrated every year since 1990 as a day of protest against Indian control of part of Kashmir on February 5.

Why is “Kashmir Solidarity Day” celebrated?

Objective: As per Pakistan, in order to provide sympathetic and political support to the Kashmiri separatists people who they believe are struggling for their freedom from the Indian rule. (The part of Kashmir which are under control of Pakistan are Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan).
Dedicated to show Pakistan’s support and unity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir, their ongoing freedom struggle, and to pay homage to Kashmiri martyrs who lost their lives fighting for Kashmir’s freedom.

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NDMA in place of MFN between India and Pakistan

In order to boost bilateral trade, Commerce Ministers of India and Pakistan have agreed on a Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) on reciprocal basis to each other, in place of the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN). India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma accepted Pakistan Trade Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan’s invitation to visit Pakistan in February 2014.

India and Pakistan have decided to:

  • Expedite the process of giving bank licences so that Indian and Pakistani banks to operate in the other country to facilitate trade.
  • Carry out trade through the Wagah-Attari border on all days of the week and allowed containers carrying shipments from both sides.
  • Organize the meetings of the technical working groups of customs, railways, banking, standards organizations and energy.
  • Organize a joint Vintage Car Rally between Amritsar and Lahore, to coincide with the coming ‘India Show’ in order to promote people to people contact. 
About Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN)
  • In international economic relations and international politics, MFN is a status or level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international trade.
  • A country grants this clause to another nation if it is interested in increasing trade with that country. Countries achieving most favored nation status are given specific trade advantages viz. reduced tariffs on imported goods, etc.
  • MFN restrains domestic special interests from obtaining protectionist measures.
  • MFN allows smaller countries, in particular, to participate in the advantages that larger countries often grant to each other, whereas on their own, smaller countries would often not be powerful enough to negotiate such advantages by themselves.
  • As MFN clauses promote non-discrimination among countries, they also tend to promote the objective of free trade in general.

 

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