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India-Pakistan trade... By Tajammal

20 January, 2014

It is a fact that those countries prosper more that enjoy good relations with their neighbouring countries. Unfortunately India and Pakistan could not establish such relations with each other even after 66 years. It has also affected other genres of relations such as in trade and commerce, though their markets need such contacts badly. Now at last the ice is melting because of good relations of PML-N with India. The commerce ministers of India and Pakistan met the other day at New Delhi and decided that Pakistan will open branches of three Pakistani banks in India and vice versa. It was also decided that Wahga border will remain open for 24 hours and Indian and Pakistani containers will be unloaded at Lahore and Amritsar instead of at Wahga-Attari border. It was also agreed that at the end of next month all Indian products will be welcomed in Pakistan if India provides a meaningful market access to Pakistani products.

Although India has already granted the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan, Pakistan has yet to do the same. It appears high time that Pakistan takes the course and gives MFN status to India. It is a good gesture that Islamabad has proposed a new name to MFN, i.e. non-discriminatory market access, to assuage any anger at home. One hopes that it creates a good trade atmosphere between the two countries. In the long run, amicable trade relations between India and Pakistan will be very beneficial for both the nations.

S Tajammal H Rizvi
Lahore

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