Pakistani Urdu dailies opposed their government’s move to grant MFN status to India. The Ausaf opines that trade relations should be strengthened on equal footings with India but not ignoring Kashmir issue. The Nawa-e- Waqt opines that there should be no relations with India, while Ummat seems to be trying to incite public sentiments by creating misperceptions that all the edible goods imported from India will have haram ingredients including cow’s urine and dung to impure Pakistan religiously. Earlier, the Jang Urdu Daily had welcomed strengthening trade relations between the two neighbours. (see Pakistan Urdu Press, Feb 13-19, 2012).
Editorial, March 3, 2012
The Ausaf Urdu Daily’s editorial writes that “While addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Foreign Minister Hina Rabani has said that trade relations with India do not mean that Pakistan is sidestepping the Kashmir issue.” The Daily opines that the Foreign Minister’s statement suggests that the voice of protests against granting India an MFN status has compelled the government to rethink various issues which is a welcome development.
In what could be a sign of departure on its stand vis-à-vis India, the daily states that “…trade with India is fine, but according an MFN status on it is contrary to Pakistan’s national interests”. In previous editorials, the Daily had opposed improving trade ties with India. Now it states that trade relations should be strengthened with India only on an equal footing. The Daily also opines that “The neighbouring nations cannot establish everlasting relations if they do not resolve Kashmir issue as per the UN Resolution and in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people” adding that “political, diplomatic and trade relations between the two neighbours would remain unstable till the resolution of Kashmir issue.”
Editorial, February 29, 2012
The Nawa-e- Waqt Urdu Daily has come out with a very hard hitting editorial, captioned “Should we smash the snake’s head or do trade with it?” In its last-ditch effort to foil the accordance of MFN status to India by Pakistan, the editorial questions Pakistan’s leaders as to “Why they are granting MFN status to a country that bifurcated Pakistan and now wants to disintegrate Baluchistan?” It alleges that India has a “sinister design to control waters of all the rivers, thereby turning Pakistan into a desert.” In addition, the editorial questions the country’s leaders and says that “…they should ‘drown themselves’ before granting India access to our markets and the resources.” “If India controls Kashmir and its water, which is our jugular vein, then how can we secure our interest our national security?” asks the Daily.
The Daily suggests the Pakistani leadership not to get “trapped in ploy of talks and dialogues” and instead “adopt a strategy to smash the head of the dangerous snake (India), otherwise we would have no time even for repentance.”
Editorial, March 4, 2012
In a clear attempt to sensationalise and damage trade relations with India, editorial of another Urdu Daily states that the goods imported from India would be made from haram (forbidden under Islamic Law) ingredients. In its editorial, the Ummat Urdu Daily states that it is being said that the edible good imported from India will have “cow dung and urine in it.” In its last trump card to foil the chances of improving trade relations, the editorial writes that “this work to pollute Pakistan is being done under the garb of MFN and promotion of trade.”
The editorial opines that the government’s decision to grant MFN status to India would lead to the destruction of the national economy on one hand while on the other hand “the possible import of dirty items would spoil the faith and religion of Muslims. For Hindus, the cow is sacred and so are its urine and dung, whereas for Muslims these items are extremely dirty and haram.” Retail traders have already expressed their anger over the issue and have said that big traders would be boycotted if they import these goods, writes the Daily.
The Daily opines that India has already “endangered our faith by flooding Pakistan with its obscene films and now it is further destroying our religion and faith by sending haram edible items.”