MFN status for India in coming weeks: Pakistan - The New Indian Express

MFN status for India in coming weeks: Pakistan

Published: 29th March 2013 09:49 AM

Last Updated: 29th March 2013 09:49 AM

Pakistan hinted on Thursday that India could get the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status in the “coming weeks and month”. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Salman Bashir said at an ASSOCHAM event here that further decisions would be taken soon to better trade ties with India.

“We are in a way satisfied (about trade with India). Economic, trade cooperation track has seen a lot of meetings between the two sides that has been very positive and (in) coming weeks and month there will be further better decision taken,” Bashir said while addressing a conference on “Indo-Pak economic relations”.

India has been long demanding the MFN status from Pakistan. India granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996. But the Pakistani side has been delaying the decision. Pakistan also failed to keep its commitment of phasing out the negative list by December 31, 2012 and grant MFN status to India.

“In-principle our take is that we want trade normalisation and there is a road map for that. We are working on that road map and I hope that the Pakistan government will take it forward with a positive intent. There is a need to address the issues on the ground. The practical difficulties need to be addressed,” Bashir said.

In the case of the Visa agreement between both nations, Bashir asked, “There have been big promises, the Visa agreement was signed, but what is the net result? What’s the fun when agreement signed, but not implemented?”

He further said that India was exporting much more to Pakistan without an MFN status and that both countries would benefit once the MFN status comes through. “If you look at the trade figures today, they indicate that despite not giving an MFN status, Indian exports are more than as compared to Pakistani exports to India. If such is the case without MFN, I feel both countries will benefit after it’s given,” Bashir said.

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