Pakistan ready to grant MFN status to India | Pakistan Today

Pakistan ready to grant MFN status to India

Pakistan has decided in principle to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar informed the National Assembly on Wednesday. She was responding to a supplementary question during the Question-Answer Hour in the Lower House of parliament. Hina said Pakistan wanted that the dialogue process with India be uninterrupted and uninterruptible. “At present the environment for dialogue process, restarted after a gap of two years, is very much conducive and we want consistent and incremental movement towards the resolution of all issues between the two countries,” Hina said, adding that Pakistan had decided to grant MFN status to India and India had promised not to block Pakistan’s trade with the European Union.
“The top-most priority of the country is to ensure uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue with India so that the resolution of core issue of Kashmir can be ensured. There are a number of achievements regarding relations with India. We have achieved ground on trade with India,” the minister said. Citing example of the claimed conducive environment, the foreign minister said the Indian foreign minister for the first time in history had attended a reception hosted by the Pakistani foreign minister in New York. Pakistan and India are negotiating opening up bilateral trade. The main impediment in the opening up
of trade is the non-tariff barriers (NBT) imposed by India on Pakistani products even though it had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1999.
Islamabad reciprocated NBTs by withholding MFN status to New Delhi, but maintains a positive list for trade with the neighbour. During the recent trade ministers’ talks, it was decided that both countries will jointly work to more than double their bilateral trade from current level of $2.7 billion to over $6 billion per annum within the next three years. They plan to achieve this by grant of MFN status to India that will allow replacement of the positive list with negative list while New Delhi will remove the NTBs.
Meanwhile, to another question, Hina said Pakistan wanted good relations with India by remaining committed to its principled stance on Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people. She further said the Jammu and Kashmir dispute had been discussed during all bilateral interactions between the two prime ministers during the past three years, as well as at the ministerial level.

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  1. Anon said:

    Thank you Pakistan Time for following up on a fellow reader's comment about Ms. Khar's file photo printed with the column. I was in agreement with the other reader. Your response is honorable. We, in a modern society have a responsibility to watch that women are not unfairly treated.

  2. Anon said:

    On the topic: not doing so would be like Pakistan is shooting it's own foot. Because this can benefit Pakistan more than it does to India. An interesting quote from the New York Times (October 6):

    "But Mr. Gilani, at least publicly, was unable to coax much out of the Chinese. Trade between the two countries remains anemic — nearly $9 billion, with Pakistan’s share only $1 billion. China’s trade with India exploded from $2.9 billion in 2000 to $61 billion last year. "


  3. Truly Speaking said:

    Many thanks Pakistan Today. Ms Khar may be young and inexperienced but she is worthy of respect like any other Foreig Minister of any other country. She is Foreign Minister of Paksitan, a country I hold in very high esteem and dearly love. If Pakistanis do not respect each other no one else will.

  4. Mohsin said:

    ""Hina said, adding that Pakistan had decided to grant MFN status to India and India had promised not to block Pakistan’s trade with the European Union"". So Ms Khar, this is the only reason to grant MFN status to India. Why drag Kashmir in this and try to fool Pakistanis like all politicians did in the past? This shows failure of our foreign policy by subjugating to Indian pressure as they were stopping our trade to EU. What more favors we can give to other countries if they twist our arm?

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