pakistan grants india \most favoured\ trade status
Last Updated : GMT 16:22:18
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Pakistan grants India \'most favoured\' trade status

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Pakistan grants India \'most favoured\' trade status

New Delhi - Arabstoday

Pakistan\'s cabinet has unanimously approved the award of \"most favoured nation\" trading status to India. Pakistan had previously linked trade liberalisation with India to a resolution of the dispute over Kashmir, over which the nations have fought two wars. Correspondents say the move is a significant step towards boosting the peace process between the neighbours. India has already extended most favoured nation status to Pakistan. The status typically reduces tariffs and increases import quotas. Bilateral trade is currently put at about $3bn (£1.87bn) and the two sides agreed at a recent meeting in Delhi to double that within three years. \'National interest\' Pakistan Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan told a news conference in Islamabad: \"Today after an extensive briefing by the commerce secretary, the cabinet unanimously decided to grant India most favoured nation status.\" He added: \"This will bring economic benefits to us and this decision has been taken in the national interest.\" Mr Awan said some ministers had raised objections on the Kashmir issue, but added: \"The prime minister reviewed all the objections and took the cabinet into confidence that it will not hurt our national security.\" The BBC\'s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that although India acknowledges the Kashmir dispute, it has insisted the two sides improve interaction in other fields while they search for a mutually acceptable solution. Analysts say the Pakistani decision has come at a time when the country desperately needs trade concessions from international markets to prevent its economy from sinking further. India and Pakistan resumed formal peace talks this year after they were broken off in the wake of the militant attacks in Mumbai (Bombay) in 2008.

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