The more favours we do to India like the accord of MFN status the more inclined it gets to impose conditions on our imports. The latest example is India demanding a bank guarantee worth $10,000 on every truck carrying cement bags through the Wagah border. This is an unanticipated, unilateral condition imposed by Indian authorities and has resulted in long queues of loaded trucks on both sides of the road near the border crossing. Pakistan not only granted India the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) despite serious reservations of the business community, but also let it have the land route facility for Afghan Transit Trade.

Actions like the demand of this financial guarantee suggest its unwillingness to give proper excess to Pakistani products but keenness to flood Pakistani markets with its goods. Cement is one product that India needs desperately and yet by imposing the condition, it is making it impossible for Pakistani businessmen to fill the gap. Such practices have given a marked tilt of the bilateral trade in favour of India. Recently available figures indicate that Pakistan has an unfavourable trade balance of billions of dollars with India. It is about time Pakistan’s concerned authorities took up the matter with their Indian counterparts and resolved this issue of guarantee as well as other impediments to the flow of Pakistan’s goods to India once and for all. The main consideration before the negotiators should be to avoid a total collapse of Pakistani industrial sector which is already facing serious difficulties due to several factors.