Following the dastardly Pulwama terror attack which took the nation by shock, the Indian government took a decisive step to withdraw ‘MFN status’ to Pakistan which was given in the year 1996.
When asked if the Indian Tea Exporters’ Association (ITEA) was willing to permanently stop shipments across the border to Pakistan if the government closes the door on bilateral trade, ITEA chairman Anshuman Kanoria stated, “Of course, we are ready. The nation and the security of our forces and fellow countrymen come first and commerce is secondary.”
Anshuman Kanoria said the tea exporters would back any decision by the central government in vengeance for the attack which was the worst-ever in Jammu and Kashmir against the forces since militancy broke in the state in 1989.
A suicide bomber on Thursday dashed his car loaded with 350 kg explosives into a Central Reserve Police Force bus on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama district left at least 44 jawans martyred leaving 38 others severely injured.
“Following the horrific terror attack, we have not even bothered to think about commercial implications. The nation comes first and when there is an incident like this, you are actually waiting for guidance from the government. What will happen to the market is completely secondary,” Kanoria said.
“Even if the tea exports to Pakistan are affected as a result of any decision the government takes in retaliation for the attack, we will stand by the government’s decision irrespective of the possible adverse impact on our commerce,” he explained.
India Tea Association Chairman Vivek Goenka said, “Whenever there are tensions between the two countries, exports get impacted. We have seen that in the past also.
“However, we fully support the central government for its decisions. The country’s security is much more important.”