Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Pakistan Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
chupooey    7/7/2006 10:03:52 AM
ISLAMABAD, July 6: The law ministry has finally has given a green signal to the government for challenging Indian government decision of including Pakistan's super Basmati rice in its exportable products list, it is learnt. "We have already chalked out three ways of action in this regard diplomatic channel, through foreign missions abroad and private sector involvement," a senior commerce ministry official on condition of anonymity told Dawn. According to the official, the law ministry gave the go-ahead signal to the ministry of commerce on the plea that under some international agreements, the issue could be pleaded on bilateral or multilateral forum. The law ministry also agreed with three options already worked out to tackle the issue, added the official. In 1998 two brothers -- Kuldip Singh and Surinder Singh -- came to Pakistan from India on a pilgrimage to the Sikh holy places. On way back they took two kg of super Basmati seeds with them, and this variety started multiplying in India. In the Kharif season 2003, the Indian Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) at Ludhiana officially released 'super' after working on these Pakistani seeds for about three years. Through scientific selection and screening, the seed was purified to suit the Indian field conditions and was released by the name `Shabnam'. Due to pressure from Indian farmers, the Indian commerce ministry on May 24, 2006 had allowed the export of super Basmati rice as an evolved (hybrid) variety by amending the export of Basmati rice (quality control and inspection) rules, 2003."Initially we want to take up the issue on moral grounds with India. We do not want to use legal ground. We have the option to challenge it as we both are signatory of Paris Convention which allows action under such cases," the official added. Elaborating the proposed actions, the official said a letter had been sent to the Pakistan's Foreign Office to take up the issue with the Indian High Commission on moral grounds. “The Pakistan’s ambassador to India will be advised to raise the issue with the Indian authorities on the ground that it may affect trading relations between the two countries.” Similarly, in case of Pakistan's major markets of super Basmati, the trade officers posted at Pakistani missions abroad will be advised to educate and convince the host countries about the origin of Basmati and its steeling by the Indian farmers. "Even if host countries’ exporters want to know firsthand information about the reality of the issue they will be facilitated to visit Pakistan," added the official. According to the official, the private sector would be guided to challenge the decision at an appropriate forum. Hamid Malhi, President of the Basmati Growers Association, told Dawn on telephone that in case of no result on diplomatic level, the association would challenge it in the WTO’s dispute settlement body. In reply to a query, Mr Malhi said the association would not challenge it in any Indian court. "It is wastage of time. We know the decision will not be in our favour," he added. Answering a question, he said: “The collective marks registration of Basmati, which is expected to be finalised by January 2007, will shield our products from being stolen by any country.”
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest