Pakistan-India ties: Secretaries to discuss India MFN status

Foreign secretary says ‘concerns’ will be taken up by commerce secretary with Indian counterpart.


Our Correspondent January 11, 2013
Pakistan has already missed the self-imposed deadline of December 31, set in February last year, to normalise trade ties between the neighbouring countries. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

ISLAMABAD:


Pakistan and India are set to soon hold commerce secretary-level talks aimed at hammering out differences over Islamabad’s granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to New Delhi, said Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Thursday.


Addressing the media after attending a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, Jilani said that Pakistan had certain concerns over India’s MFN status, which would be taken up with the Indian commerce secretary by his Pakistani counterpart in the coming days.

Pakistan has already missed the self-imposed deadline of December 31, set in February last year, to normalise trade ties between the neighbouring countries. In February last year, Pakistan had replaced a restricted importable items list with a non-importable items’ list, which contained only 1,209 items.

The government had initially separated trade from other issues between the two countries but the normalisation of trade process was made part of the composite dialogue last year.



The foreign secretary said that the federal cabinet had already agreed upon granting MFN status to India, adding that trade normalisation was important for the economies of both countries.

According to a senior official of the commerce ministry, Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi is set to visit New Delhi this month to attend a conference, on the sidelines of which both sides would meet to discuss trade issues.

The official added the negative list would be removed but a timeline is this regard is yet to be decided.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2013.

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