‘Pak in process of granting MFN status to India’



New Delhi: Government on Thursday said Pakistan was in the process of granting Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India as per the Commerce Secretary level talks held in November this year.

Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs presented a portion of the minutes of the Commerce Secretary level talks held between November 14-16.

"The move to full normalisation of trade shall be sequenced. In the first stage, Pakistan will transition from the current positive list approach to a Negative list. The consultation process on devising this Negative list is almost complete," the minutes shared by Ahmed read.

"A small Negative list shall be finalised and ratified by February 2012. Thereafter, all items other than those on the Negative list shall be freely exportable from India to Pakistan," the text of the minutes read.

"In the second stage, the Negative list shall be phased out. The timing for this phasing out will be announced in February 2012 at the time the list is notified and it is expected that the phasing out will be completed before the end of 2012," it read.

"With the entire phasing out of the Negative list, the transition process of full grant of MFN status by Pakistan to India shall be completed," Ahmed told the house.

In reply to another question, External Affairs minister S M Krishna said that a railway station called 'Zero point' existed on Pakistani side of the International border opposite Munnabao in Barmer sector and there were reports that Pakistan had undertaken expansion works on this station with Chinese help.

This matter had been raised by the Border Security Force (BSF) during their meetings with Pakistani Rangers.

PTI