The meeting is likely to be attended by senior officials from the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of External Affairs.

The Benefit of MFN

The Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status is granted to a country in accordance with international trade practices and World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime. Any country that gets the MFN status from another country gets a surety that it would not be at any disadvantage in matters of international trade.

India, Pakistan and MFN

India granted the MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, a year after the establishment of World Trade Organization (WTO). But Pakistan has never made any efforts to take a positive decision on conferring the same status to India despite its assurances.

By the merits of the status, Pakistan gets low trade tariff and high import quota.

In mid-September, Union Minister of State for Finance Arjun Meghwal had said that India may withdraw, or downgrade Pakistan's MFN status and that the matter was under consideration.

He had further confirmed that the diplomatic crackdown against Pakistan is on the schedule of the Modi government. "The thought process is on to isolate Pakistan on economic front in view of their consistent support to acts of terror," Meghwal had said.

Why Pakistan is not extending MFN status to India

India and Pakistan have great trade potentials. But there is not enough trade exchange between the two countries, mainly because of political mistrust and Pakistan sponsored terrorism, particularly aimed at India.

An important factor that makes it difficult for Pakistan to confer MFN status to India is the political impact of the character of MFN status. It may feel that India is the most favoured nation for Pakistan in literary sense, though MFN means non-discrimination.

To overcome that, Pakistan has devised a new term called Non Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA), which is equivalent to MFN.