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Pakistan to grant MFN status to India

By The Assam Tribune

Islamabad, Oct 13 (IANS): Pakistan has, in principle, decided to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said in the National Assembly.

The minister said during Question Hour that the dialogue process with India had been initiated after a gap of two years, reported Associated Press of Pakistan. Khar said: "The topmost priority of the country is to ensure uninterrupted dialogue with India so that the resolution of core Kashmir could be ensured."

"There are a number of achievements regarding relations with India. We have achieved ground on trade with India. First time in history, the Indian foreign minister had attended the reception of Pakistan Foreign Minister in New York," she was quoted as saying.

During the past three years, the Jammu and Kashmir dispute has been discussed during all bilateral interactions between the leadership of the two countries as well as at the Foreign Secretary levels.

"I raised the Jammu and Kashmir issue with my Indian counterpart at the ministerial meeting in New Delhi in July 2011. The joint statement of the ministerial meeting underscored the need for continued discussion of Jammu and Kashmir in a purposeful and forward-looking manner with a view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences," the minister said.

The MFN status could be a big step forward in strengthening trade ties between the two neighbours. Once MFN status is granted, Pakistan will have to treat India on par with its other favoured trading partners. India has already granted most favoured nation status to Pakistan and is treating it on par with other trading partners.

Pakistan Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim had visited India for five days last month.

Currently, Pakistan's exports to India stand at $300 million, while imports from India are at $1.5 billion.

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