Pakistan not backtracking on Indian MFN status: FO

Earlier reports stated that senior Indian government source had said Pakistan had backtracked on the decision.


Reuters November 04, 2011

NEW DELHI/ ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday denied that it had backtracked on giving India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trade status.    

"Pakistan is not backtracking," said foreign office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua after a senior Indian official earlier said Pakistan was bowing to domestic business interests opposed to finalising MFN status.

(Read: Business community welcomes MFN status to India)

"Pakistan clearly stated that our cabinet gave approval to move forward on MFN status in principle," she said.

Reuters had earlier quoted a senior Indian government source stating that Pakistan had backtracked on granting MFN status to India.

"From the initial announcement of an unconditional grant of an MFN, there appears to be a clear backtrack," the source had said.

Wednesday's announcement was trumpeted on both sides as a milestone in improving fragile relations between the two countries.

India and Pakistan may be home to some 1.4 billion people but bilateral trade flows are paltry, a legacy of mistrust between the neighbours.

The hope is that an increase in trade will feed into wider trust between the two countries and help the rivals resolve major flashpoints like the disputed Kashmir region, although a solution to this problem has proved intractable for decades.

The two sides have also pledged to liberalise restrictions on business visas, curb non-tariff barriers and bolster trade on their land border. As things stand, exporters are forced to route many goods via third parties such as Dubai, slowing delivery times and upping costs.

Less than one percent of India's merchandise exports are sold to Pakistan, in terms of dollar value, but in September a joint statement pledged to double bilateral trade flows within three years to about $6 billion.

COMMENTS (29)

SY | 9 years ago | Reply

@Adil Exactly my point. Why do you believe that Indian Media has stooped so low? These are the fringes of the media and anyways the news they cover about Pakistan must not be even 0.5% of their coverage.

P.S.: On a personal note, I do not agree with you regarding Afridi's comments being sensationalised by media. I am re-printing his comments below so that you can see it from my viewpoint on why an Indian will find them offending:

"In my opinion, if I have to tell the truth, they (Indians) will never have hearts like Muslims and Pakistanis. I don’t think they have the large and clean hearts that Allah has given us."

If Dhoni would have said the same, I doubt Pakistani media would have been benevolent on him.

Adil | 9 years ago | Reply @ 66 and SY And how come you believe that Zaid Hamid is the heartbeat of every Pakistani? .These days, his fan following is becoming extinct.
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