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Has Pak granted MFN status to India? Not yet says Gilani

Last updated on: November 17, 2011 14:41 IST

Has Pak granted MFN status to India? Not yet says Gilani

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad

Pakistan has once again sent out confusing signals on granting MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status to India, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani telling lawmakers that a decision is "yet to be taken" on the issue for which bilateral negotiations would be held.

Responding to points raised by lawmakers in the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, Gilani said the people and Parliament would be taken into confidence on the issue of giving MFN status to India.

"The Cabinet unanimously gave permission to the Commerce Ministry that they should go and negotiate with India (on normalising trade relations)," he said.

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Has Pak granted MFN status to India? Not yet says Gilani

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Noting that the commerce secretaries of the two countries had met in New Delhi, he said that a decision is yet to be made on the MFN issue.

"Let the results come and we'll apprise the whole country and take the Parliament into confidence. How can we take them into confidence prior to any decision? This decision is yet to be taken."

Information Minister Firdous Awan had recently announced at a news conference that the Cabinet had unanimously approved the granting of MFN status to India.

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Has Pak granted MFN status to India? Not yet says Gilani

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Gilani and other leaders subsequently clarified that the Cabinet had approved the normalisation of trade relations with India, and this process would eventually lead to the granting of MFN status.

During the Commerce Secretary-level talks in Delhi this week, Pakistan had agreed to open its market for over 7,000 items from India in the next three months and promised to grant New Delhi the crucial MFN status by 2012 end.

Pakistan had also sent out positive signals on the MFN issue during Gilani's talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the November 10-11 SAARC Summit in Maldives.



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