After almost five decades, direct trade by road between India and Pakistan resumed across the Wagah border last fortnight. With the thaw in Indo-Pak relations, the two countries had earlier this year agreed to allow trade of limited items. Pakistan has allowed India to export onion, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes and livestock, to meet shortages. India can, in turn, import cotton, sugar, lentils and dry fruit. So far, exports to Pakistan were routed through either the Mumbai port or on the weekly Samjhauta Express. For some items, traders even used a circuitous route—sending goods by sea to Dubai and then to Karachi. Incidentally, trade between the two countries in 2004 was worth Rs 300 crore. The volume of unofficial trade through third country destinations like Dubai is said to be much higher though.
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