K-settlement should be a precondition: Pak MPs
‘Any Effort Prior To That Will Be A Lethal Blow To Kashmir Cause’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, May 1: A group of Pakistani Parliamentarians has moved a resolution that says the settlement of the Kashmir issue should be “a pre-condition” for giving the Most Favoured Nation status to India.
The resolution, signed by 10 members of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament belonging to the PML-Q and PML-N and an independent lawmaker, was yesterday submitted to the Parliament Secretariat by PML-Q lawmaker Marvi Memon, a known critic of India.
“This House resolves that Most Favoured Nation-status to India should be a pre-condition for resolution of Kashmir dispute. Any effort to grant MFN status to India prior to resolution of Kashmir will be considered as a lethal blow to Kashmir cause,” the resolution states.
In the clearest indication yet that it is moving towards granting MFN status to India, Pakistan agreed in recent talks between Commerce Secretaries of the two countries that it would take “immediate necessary steps to ensure that non-discriminatory trade regime is operationalised at the earliest.”
Pakistan also recognised that the grant of MFN status to India will help in expanding bilateral trade, according to a joint statement issued after the talks.
Briefing the media after the parleys, Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood made it clear that the Kashmir issue or resolution of political matters was not in any way linked to the grant of MFN status to India.
Pertinently, Pakistan on April 29 agreed to take immediate steps to implement a non-discriminatory trade regime with India even as the two sides announced they would work on steps to boost trade in electricity and petroleum products, as part of efforts to use economic engagement to build trust.
After two-day talks between commerce secretaries of India and Pakistan, a joint statement said the two sides would set up two groups of experts to examine the “feasibility, scope and modalities” for a new initiative to enable trade in electricity and to “initiate and substantially expand trade in all types of petroleum products”.
Pakistan recognized that the grant of Most Favoured Nation status to India will help in expanding bilateral trade and both sides agreed to remove non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and other “restrictive practices” that hamper commerce, the joint statement said.
The Pakistani side has set in motion the consultative process and information on reservations and objections is being collected from all stakeholders, including trade lobbies and manufacturers, to replace the current ‘positive list’ with a ‘negative list’, Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood told the media at the conclusion of his talks with his Indian counterpart Rahul Khullar.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 1 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 1 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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