No Political Instability in Pakistan: Envoy

No Political Instability in Pakistan: Envoy
Pakistan High Commissioner in India Shahid Malik today said there is no political instability in his country and trade relations with India are normal.

"I do not see any current political instability in Pakistan and trade with India is going on normally," Malik told reporters after an interactive session on 'India-Pakistan Bilateral Trade' organised by the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce here.

Malik, who visited the city for the first time as the High Commissioner, declined to take any political queries.

On Indo-Pak trade, he said full normalisation of trade relations between the two countries would have to be sequenced. "At the moment, there is no full normalisation of trade relations between the two countries," he said.

He added Pakistan Commerce Minister Ameen Faheen had visited India last year and observed that this was the first time in 35 years that a Pakistani Commerce Minister visited India.

He said India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma would soon visit Pakistan accompanied by a business delegation.

Malik also said Pakistan would soon come out with a small negative list of items that India cannot export to the neighbouring country. The list would be finalised and ratified by February 2012.

Malik regretted that despite India granting the MFN status to Pakistan in 1995, Pakistani exports had not gone up significantly.

Malik said Pakistan's exports to India had not gone up due to the existence of non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

He added that both the countries will have to look at the obstacles to trade.

"Even denial of visas to Pakistani businessman is a case of NTB," he said, adding, "We in the Pakistani High Commission do not delay issuing visas to Indian businessmen."

He further said, "Full normalisation of trade relation between the two countries is expected by end of 2012."

Malik said that Pakistan would soon relax visa rules.

"We are finalising a few visa rules both for Indian businessmen and others as well," he said.

For businessmen, Pakistan would issue multiple-city visas for one year, while for others, visa rules would be more liberal than the current policy, he said.

"This will go a long way in promoting trade and other relations between the two countries," Malik said.

For the first time, a 'Made in India' exhibition will be held in Lahore in the second week of February in association with Federation of Indian Export Organisations, India Trade Promotion Organisation and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.
Next Story : 26/11: HC Okays Pak Judicial Commission's Visit
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