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Pak determined to bring down trade barriers with India: Rehman

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 19:46

Washington: Despite recent flare ups on the Line of Control in Kashmir, Pakistan is focused on bringing down trade barriers with India, including extending the MFN status to it, Islamabad's top diplomat here said Wednesday.

"Our regional pivot focuses on bringing down an architecture of trade barriers both with India and Pakistan, and we are on course, despite flare-ups on the Line of Control in Kashmir, to forge with building investments in peace, trade, economic integration and opportunities for our huge youth cohort," the Pakistan Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman said in her address to the prestigious Harvard University.

In her speech 'Pakistan and the United States: the road to 2014 and beyond', Rehman said a dialogue with India at multiple levels is also underway.

"Pakistan's cabinet is considering extending Most Favored Nation status to India while pressing India to dismantle its tariff and para-tariff barriers to Pakistan's exports.

The two countries recently agreed on an expanded visa agreement. Some experts see bilateral trade touching $ 7-8 billion within a couple of years," Rehman said.

As the US plans to exit from Afghanistan, by the end of 2014, Rehman called for a reality check and the need for a decision based on the ground realities.

"Do not go crashing out in an exit that run the risk of sinking Afghanistan into instability and economic un-sustainability," she said.

"More than a military victory, what the US must now try to ensure is to leave an economic infrastructure behind that allows the Afghans to build on after US departure. After fighting the war, the US must win the peace," she said.


First Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 19:46
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