The grant by Pakistan of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India came in for criticism from multiple directions on Thursday in Islamabad, not just at the Pakistan Paindabad Conference, organized by the Islamabad chapter of the Nazria-e-Pakistan Trust, but also National Assembly Opposition Leader Ch Nisar Ali as well as JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Both Ch Nisar and the Maulana have said that MFN status should not have been granted to India without its first solving the Kashmir problem. While Ch Nisar said this at a press conference in Islamabad, in which he also noted that Parliament had not been taken into confidence on the decision, Maulana Fazl had spoken on Wednesday. Considering that the Maulana is a firm ally of the government, it should be clear to it that it has merely conceded something India wanted in return for nothing. No one has really proposed a direct exchange, for it is unlikely that this alone would be the price of Indian agreement to vacate its brutal and illegal occupation of Kashmir. However, it has been made clear that the government, in a continuation of the policies of the Musharraf era, has let India set the agenda on Kashmir, which is to keep it off the table. Another aspect of this agreement which has not received as much attention as it deserves is that it would lead to Pakistan having indigenous industry destroyed. As India has placed non-tariff barriers against foreign goods, Pakistan would find that not only would its trade balance with India, already unfavourable by $1 billion in 2010-11, worsen, but its own industry would be destroyed by Indians dumping their goods in Pakistani markets. The government should be careful to listen to the voice of the people, and not be so eager to pay favourable attention to the wishes of foreign interlocutors. Instead of talking to India, the government should work to persuade the international community that there can be no settlement with India until it allows the Kashmiri people to exercise their inalienable right of self-determination through a UN-supervised plebiscite.