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Both India, Pakistan have trust deficiency: Outgoing envoy

June 12, 2013 16:40 IST

Pakistan should fully implement the roadmap for normalising economic cooperation with India, including granting it the Most Favoured Nation-status, Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal has said.

"The economic roadmap needs to be fully implemented for more trade and investment between the two neighbouring countries," he said at a farewell luncheon hosted for him on Tuesday by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Indian envoy referred to the joint statement issued after the seventh round of talks on commercial and economic cooperation between the Commerce Secretaries in September 2012 and said this laid out the roadmap for normalising and increasing economic ties. In the joint statement, it was agreed that Pakistan would grant MFN-status to India by December 2012.

India would thereafter bring down its SAFTA Sensitive List to 100 tariff lines at six-digit level by April.

Sabharwal, who served as the Indian envoy for four years, said New Delhi had implemented several decisions, including allowing investments from Pakistan and reducing the SAFTA tariff line.

After the formation of the new government in Islamabad, there are hopes that Pakistan would implement the roadmap for cooperation, he said.

He welcomed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's remarks about trade with India and said that similar sentiments prevailed across the border. After trade talks between India and Pakistan were initiated in September 2011, there were several positive developments that resulted in the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian commerce minister in February last year, he said. These developments also resulted in improved bilateral trade.

"Exports from Pakistan to India registered growth," he said. Asked about recent tensions between the two countries, Sabharwal said: "Both the sides have trust deficiency…Once relations improve, everything will go better."

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