`Indo-Pak pol leadership should have vision to develop ties`
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 20:55
  
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of chill in relations over beheading of Indian soldier, Pakistan today said the political leadership of the two countries should have a clear vision on how to develop the ties in a mutually beneficial manner.

"Both the countries have invested a lot of effort and energy to make this happen. Having said that, of course, we have an ongoing dialogue process, this is the track," Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir said here at an ICRIER function here.

He said the two countries have witnessed two tracks. Part one included people-to-people contact, visa relaxations and cultural exchanges between the two countries and the second one was on economic-trade cooperation which has witnessed several important ministerial and secretary-level meetings.

Both these tracks should come together and the two countries need to keep a holistic view of the relationship, Bashir said, adding "I think it is important for both the political systems that Pakistan and India have a clear vision where they want the relationship to grow and develop...One with the cooperation which is mutually beneficial."

The chill in bilateral relations was triggered after the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani troops in a cross- Line of Control (LoC) attack by Pakistan troops in Jammu and Kashmir on January 8.

In the wake of the incident, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that there cannot be business a usual with Pakistan. India had put on hold liberalized visa for elderly Pakistani citizens just before it was to be launched.

Pakistan Commerce Minister and Commerce Secretary as also Water Resources Minister cancelled their visits here.

Defence Minister A K Antony has been underlining that there should be no hasty move to improve relations with Pakistan.

In 2011-12, India's exports to Pakistan stood at USD 1.54 billion, while imports are only USD 401 million.

Further, Bashir said, "we had a host of technical meetings -- railway-to-railway, customs-to-customs... So, a lot of good hard work has been put together to see how we can move forward towards trade normalisation."

In the backdrop of a missed deadline for normalising trade relations with India, Pakistan had said its Cabinet had reiterated the resolve to grant MFN-status to India.

During the talks between officials and ministers of India and Pakistan last year, it was decided that Islamabad would phase out the negative list regime for bilateral trade by December 31 so that MFN-status could be granted at the beginning of the new year.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 20:54


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