WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: In a bid to isolate Pakistan in international community, India is now finding itself isolated as the US has removed it from the preferential trade list and the United World Wrestling (UWW) has also suspended its membership besides a warning by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on hosting rights of the Cricket World Cup and World T20 events.
The US President Donald Trump has announced that he plans to end India's preferential trade treatment that allows duty-free entry for billions of dollars worth of Delhi exports to enter the country.
In a letter written to the leaders of the Senate and House, the president said that he intends to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country."I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the United States and the government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India as set forth," the letter stated.
He has taken the decision under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme. The GSP programme provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries.
The programme was authorised by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in the developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976. India has been the world's largest beneficiary of the GSP programme. Under the rules, certain products can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.
The president apprised the Congress of the plan explaining that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India as set forth in the programme rules and regulations. "I will continue to assess whether the government of India is providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets, in accordance with the GSP eligibility criteria," the president said in the letter.
The US trade representative's office told media outlets that removing India from the GSP programme would not take effect for at least 60 days after notifications to Congress and the Indian government, and it would be enacted by a presidential proclamation.
Meanwhile, the United World Wrestling (UWW) directed all the members to suspend their relations with the Indian Wrestling Federation (IWF) till the time it guarantees (in writing) in-time visa facility to all athletes willing or drawn to compete in any international event the country hosts.
The international wresting body called Indian government’s failure to mix sports with politics as an act against the Olympic Charter. "Indians involve politics in sports and deny players and officials visa to compete in international events. All member countries are advised to suspend relations with Indian Wrestling Federation," the world body said in a letter to all member countries.
Pakistan has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to strip India of their hosting rights for the T20 and 50-over World Cup if India does not assure the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of issuing visas to its players.
According to sources, the PCB has told the cricket’s governing body that until and unless India assures them in writing that they will issue visas to their players and officials, their hosting rights should be taken back from them.
India is scheduled to host the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the 50-over World Cup in 2023. The ICC has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that they need to assure that they will issue visas to Pakistan players for the mega tournaments, the sources added.
Moreover, the ICC has ordered the BCCI to take written guarantee from their government, a year in advance before the tournaments kick-off in the country or they will look to another country to host the events.
The issue was raised by the PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani at a recent ICC meeting in Dubai, where he pointed out that India recently denied visas to Pakistani athletes to participate in events held in the country. On this, the ICC chief Shashank Manohar ruled that the Indian board has to obtain a written guarantee from their government about the issuance of visas.