India downplays Pak on MFN status

Last Updated: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 16:47

New Delhi: India on Saturday downplayed the confusing signals from Islamabad over the grant of MFN status to it even as the Pakistan Prime Minister backtracked saying Commerce Ministry has only been tasked by the Cabinet to move forward on the issue in bilateral trade negotiations.
 
Asked about the confusing remarks from Pakistan government, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai read out the statement by Pakistan Commerce Ministry after the Cabinet meeting which said, "It has the mandate to take forward the process of normalisation of trade relations between India and Pakistan, which would culminate in the observance of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) principle in its true spirit".
 
"According to the information available through the Pakistan government, the Cabinet has approved the process of normalisation of trade relations of which MFN is a part. The actual implementation would be a culmination of the normalisation process which could take some time," he said.
 
Backtracking on the issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the Commerce Ministry has only been tasked by the Cabinet to move forward on the issue in bilateral trade negotiations.
     
His statement came three days after Pakistan Information Minister Firdous Awan announced following a Cabinet meeting that it has been decided "unanimously" to grant MFN status to India.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 16:47

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