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To re-engage with India as soon as new govt is formed: Pak FM

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 08:24

Washington: Pakistan is looking to re-engage with India as soon as the new government is formed in New Delhi post the ongoing general elections and has recommended the non-discriminatory market access (NDMA) to be proactively followed.

Visiting Pakistan`s Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar said, "We have again got re-engaged with India in a very proactive manner in the last few month, in order to increase the trade between the two countries".

"The non-discriminatory market access (NDMA) is a new term we have coined for mutual expansion of the trade. We wish to minimise the negative list of both the countries," Dar said.

He said a Pakistani government committee headed by him, also reviewed the future road map of trade with India.

"We have recommended to the Cabinet and to the Prime Minister that this NMDA is to be proactively followed," he said.

In his address to the US Institute of Peace, a Washington-based think-tank, Dar said, "Whosoever they elect let me assure you, the spade work is there, Indian establishment know the entire detail. So as soon as a new government in India is sworn in, we will be happy to re-engage the Indian government on this subject".

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently deferred a decision on this important issue during the duration of the elections, which started on April 7.

Dar said the PML-N lead by Sharif, was the one which triggered the process of dialogue with India way back in 1999.

But the process could not be completed and accomplish its goal as a result of the coup in Islamabad that resulted in an overthrowing of the democratically-elected government.

"Of course, the dialogue was at a very advance stage, but certainly we believed that it is not the time that we should? conclude this deal with the Congress (government), with the sitting government, because we might be seen that we are becoming partisan to the Indian general elections," he said.

Even a tentative meeting of the cabinet was cancelled, for this very reason, he said.

PTI
First Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 08:24

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