Hoping that the Mohali spirit shared between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani continues, the commerce secretaries of the two countries will meet in Islamabad on April 27 and 28.
Both sides are working on a host of issues to promote trade, banking sector cooperation, customs cooperation, improving infrastructure at the trading points as well as addressing the issues to revive the old proposal for the joint-registration of basmati rice when commerce secretary Rahul Khullar meets his counterpart Zafar Mehmood, government sources told HT.
“There are issues that both sides know need to be ironed out for improving the trade ties. So, instead of having any specific structure, we would like to talk about all the issues that come under the rubric of commerce secretary level talks”, an Indian official said.
New Delhi believes it has been more than willing to accommodate Pakistan to improve trade ties that have a key role in the PM’s vision for a “prosperous” South Asia. But Indians putting too many non-tariff trade barriers on the way has been the refrain of complaint from Pakistan.
The sources pointed out that India has already granted most favoured nation (MFN) status to Pakistan. “That was a big move, and a very important gesture, we would ideally like to see Pakistan reciprocating on this”, said an official.
The commerce secretary-level talks are second in a series of dialogue process that has been resumed. The first was the home secretary-level talks on March 28 and 29.