Resume dialogue to normalize trade ties, Pakistan tells India
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New Delhi: Pakistan’s envoy to India Salman Bashir on Thursday urged New Delhi to resume the dialogue process with his country in order to normalize trade between the two countries.
His prodding came ahead of scheduled talks between foreign minister Salman Khurshid and Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s adviser on foreign and national security affairs, on the sidelines of the Asia Europe foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi on 11-12 November.
Trade normalization between India and Pakistan has got delayed because of a delay in the resumption of the broad-ranging dialogue process between the two countries, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India said.
He was speaking at an event on “Normalising India-Pakistan Trade Relations”, organized by policy think tank Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.
“I think the two Prime Ministers (India’s Manmohan Singh and Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif) had a good conversation in New York in September. It is important that we get to a point we are able to resume the dialogue process between the two countries,” Bashir said. “It is within the ability of the two sides to deal with all issues which are subjects of the dialogue. Resumption of the dialogue process will certainly help see this process of trade normalisation take shape.”
India, however, has stressed that an end to violations of a 2003 ceasefire pact along the de facto line of control (LoC) border in Kashmir is a “precondition” for forward movement in ties.
Pakistan had agreed to allow more commodities to be traded through the land route and granted Most Favoured Nation status to India by 31 December 2012, treating it on par with other trade partners as a result of significant progress made by the two sides in 2011 and early 2012. But differences on the matter within Pakistan have resulted in a stalemate.