Islamabad has held New Delhi responsible for the delay in the process of granting Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India.
New Delhi is reluctant to remove non-tariff bearers (NTBs), and consequently the non availability of a level playing field to Pakistani exporters has delayed the granting of MFN status to India, said Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim in a written reply during a question hour session of the upper house of Parliament on Wednesday.
The commerce ministry was unable to meet the deadline of December 31, 2012, of granting the MFN status, as it was consulting other ministries and private sector stakeholders to assess and evaluate the level playing field enjoyed by Pakistani exports to India, and to resolve issues of non-tariff barriers being faced by Pakistani exporters and market access of Pakistani products to India.
The ministry will now submit the case to the Cabinet for complete normalisation of trade relations with India in due course, the written reply read. The decision to grant MFN status to India was taken by the Cabinet in its meeting held on November 2, 2011.
Meanwhile, State Minster for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Hammad said that due to Indian rigidity, the Sir Creek border issue has not been resolved either.
He also revealed that talks over the issue have not been held during the last five years.
Responding to a related question, the minister said that they do not have any reports on exploratory activities being carried out by India in the disputed area. The area is under regular surveillance by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and Pakistan Navy, he said.
Citing the sensitivity of the issue, Senate Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari referred the question to relevant authorities for a comprehensive reply.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ