‘Core issues confronting India, Pakistan need to be resolved'

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 13, 2012

Mr Shahid Malik

The Pakistan High Commissioner in India, Mr Shahid Malik, on Friday said that the “core issues” confronting India and Pakistan should be resolved in order to ensure a sustainable long term trade relation between the two border nations.

According to Mr Malik, some of the core issues which are a part of the Pakistan-India dialogue are Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, water and people to people contact.

“I feel that the progress on core issues and trade should happen simultaneously, in tandem with each other,” Mr Malik told newspersons on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce here on Friday.

“There is a feeling that we must create a right atmosphere for trade to flourish and then all the other issues can fall into place. But I have a different opinion,” he clarified.

India and Pakistan have still not been able to achieve “full normalisation” in trade relations so far. “The move to full normalisation of trade relations has to be taken. It will have to be sequenced,” the Pakistani Ambassador pointed out.

The Indian Commerce Minister is likely to visit Pakistan next month and the visit would further strengthen trade relations between the two countries. “We hope that the dialogue process with India is uninterrupted and uninterruptible,” he said.

Negative List

The consultation process on the formulation of a small negative list of items of trade was almost complete. The list will be finalised and ratified soon, he said.

“The list is being formulated and finalised. It has not yet been presented to the Cabinet. Once the negative list is in place, all items other than the ones on the negative list can be freely imported from India. The timing for phasing out will be announced next month and full normalisation is likely to happen by the end of 2012,” Mr Malik said.

Talking about the liberal visa policy, Mr Malik said, “We have more or less finalised the visa policy. Under this, businessmen will get 10-destination multiple entry visa for one year.”

Non -Tariff Barriers

Exports from Pakistan have not picked up satisfactorily due to the existence of non-tariff barriers. “Two-three agreements should be signed including removal of non-tariff barriers in order to boost bilateral trade,” he said.

TAPI Project

The Pakistan Minister for Petroleum will visit India soon, Mr Malik said. “We are making progress on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project. In the case of the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, India decided not to participate,” he added.

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Published on January 13, 2012
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