ISLAMABAD - The trade talks between Pakistan and India, scheduled for September 12 and 13 in Islamabad, have been deferred which were planned to discuss the issues relating to bilateral trade, sources told TheNation on Monday.
Sources said the decision had been made on the request of Pakistani government, as the foreign affairs and commerce ministries were not on the same page over the pace regarding the trade talks with India.
The new dates would be finalised in next few days after negotiations between the two ministries, sources added.
Earlier, the trade talks were scheduled in July-August this year, which were deferred till September 12 on the Pakistan’s request. Sources said Pakistan and India had decided to discuss the matters of granting most favoured nation (MFN) status to India in the talks. Pakistan had already announced that the Negative List would be converted into Positive List by December 31 this year, implying that India would get Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status from January 1 next year (2013).
In December, the Commerce Ministry will again go to the cabinet, seeking guidance for phasing out 1,209-item Negative List in the light of progress required to be made by India on Pakistan’s concerns and demands which include opening of bank branches and investment.
It may be mentioned that Pakistan and India had made developments in trade talks in last few months, as on one hand Islamabad had decided in principle to grant MFN status to India, while on the other, the Indian government had allowed the Pakistani investors to invest in the country.
The dialogue on import of 500MW electricity are underway between India and Pakistan, as two rounds of talks have already held, while the third one will be held in October. Likewise, the import of petroleum products will also be discussed very soon, including trade of LNG, as India is also interested in selling this product to Pakistan.