'Within two weeks': Pakistan to challenge Indian move to patent Basmati rice in the EU 

In this picture taken on August 31, 2019 flies sit on rice being sold at a market in Karachi. (AFP)
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Updated 23 September 2020

'Within two weeks': Pakistan to challenge Indian move to patent Basmati rice in the EU 

  • Pakistan produces a number of varieties of Basmati rice and believes it has a right to an exclusive Geographical Indications tag
  • Export of basmati rice from Pakistan increased by 33 percent, overall rice exports surged by seven percent during July-March 2019-20 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plans to challenge, within two weeks, Indian's request before the European Union for a patent for Basmati rice, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Trade said  on Wednesday.

Islamabad accuses Delhi of "cheating" its neighbour by applying for an exclusive Geographical Indications (GI) tag for Basmati rice in the European Union (EU) this month.

Mirza Muhammad Afridi said Pakistan produced a wide range of Basmati rice varieties and had the right to apply for a GI tag.

“Hopefully Pakistan will challenge the Indian move in two weeks,” the senate committee chairman said, adding that though Pakistan technically had three months to challenge New Delhi's action, it would do so much sooner. 

Pakistan is one of the largest exporters of rice in the world

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the export of basmati rice from Pakistan increased by 33 percent and overall rice exports surged by seven percent during July-March 2019-20 period.
 


CPEC development projects facing threat from India — Pakistani military

Updated 59 min 8 sec ago

CPEC development projects facing threat from India — Pakistani military

  • Major General Babar Iftikhar says much of the 'fake news' against the security institutions of the country can be traced back to Indian social media accounts
  • The military spokesperson warns the international community that any change to the balance of power in South Asia will be 'disastrous' for everyone

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's military spokesperson, Major General Babar Iftikhar, said on Thursday that India had ratcheted up its anti-Pakistan campaign in military, diplomatic, information and economic spheres since it was fearful of Pakistan's positive trajectory and considered the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a threat to itself.
In an interview to a local online publication, he said that CPEC was not just about "north-south connectivity" to consolidate the interests of Beijing and Islamabad but also sought to integrate the whole region and make Pakistan its economic hub.
"Somewhere Indians decided that there is a timeline beyond which this project becomes irreversible," he told Global Village Space. "They feel that the progress of this project must be retarded as much as possible so that it doesn't cross that timeline and can somehow be reversed."
The military spokesperson said that the security threat around the corridor project had increased, though he also maintained that Islamabad had provided the world sufficient evidence of India's sponsorship of terrorism through a newly unveiled dossier that was "taken very seriously by the international community."
Asked if Pakistan had taken up the issue of Indian terror training camps in Afghanistan with the administration in Kabul, he said: "We have always acknowledged that the Afghan government has capacity issues. That is also the reason why we never really blamed them for what is happening from the Afghan soil. However, we keep sharing such information with them — it's a regular thing — and have also shared the information in the dossier at appropriate levels."
Iftikhar maintained that India had launched a disinformation campaign against Pakistan, saying that much of the "fake news" against the country and its security institutions could be traced back to Indian social media accounts.
"It is a major challenge, especially what is happening on social media," he said. "However, the best way to handle this is transparency, the best way to handle this is to not leave any information voids, the best way to handle this is to pass on credible information, and that is exactly what we are trying to do here."
"Pakistan is subjected to the fifth-generation warfare and we are aware of that," he continued.
Asked about India's military spending and its recent defense deal with the United States, the military spokesperson said: "The international community has to understand that any major disturbance in balance of power in South Asia will not only be a major disaster for the region but also for the rest of the world. This balance of power must be maintained at every level. The more it is disturbed the more it gets dangerous."