Representatives of Pakistan and India have revealed to the press that normal trade ties between the two countries will resume from February next year. Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary, Zafar Mehmood, had a meeting
with his Indian counterpart, Rahul Khullar, in New Delhi on Tuesday and a joint statement was released to confirm that the trading activities between the two neighbours will resume in a couple of month’s time.

“We have turned the corner,” Mehmood told reporters. “We are talking of a complete normalisation roadmap.”

This meeting of the senior officials from both sides is seen to be a positive initiative to pave the way to end the political mistrust and military rivalry, which has been there for a number of decades, among the two neighbouring
countries. Mr. Mehmood told in a separate T.V interview that Pakistani government’s decision to accord India a most favourite nation (MFN) status will be delivered officially to the world trade body before February.

A number of complicated details were also focused in the lengthy joint press release and it was told that more rounds of discussions will be held to work them out. However, this initiation of normal trade between the two countries
will be the first step to move towards the preferential trade between the two sides.

Referring to the meeting held in Maldives earlier this year, the officials’ joint statement told the reporters: “The political leadership on both sides directed that the two sides also work on enhancing preferential trading arrangements
as part of the shared vision to significantly expand bilateral trade.”

The Pakistani official assured India that their Cabinet has given a reasonable mandate to the Commerce Ministry to resume the normal trade ties with India. Mr. Mehmood also praised India’s support in WTO (World Trade Organisation)
for the EU concession package for Pakistan. He believed that this will give revive the confidence of the Pakistani business community and will boost up the environment of trust and mutual cooperation among the two countries. The Indian delegation welcomed
the decision of the Cabinet and assured its support to normalise the trade across the borders of the two sides.

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