India to restore cargo shipping services with Pak
The services will also allow lifting of cargo between the two nations by third country vessels.india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 16:13 IST
Ahead of crucial Foreign Secretary-level talks, the Indian government on Friday decided to restore cargo shipping services with Pakistan after a gap of 35 years to substantially bolster sea trade.
The Union cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved a revised protocol between India and Pakistan that will allow lifting of cargo between the two nations by third country vessels.
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan will meet next month to discuss a host of issues.
"It will also permit lifting of third country cargo by India and Pakistani flag vessels from each others' ports, which is expected to enhance tonnage under both the flags and also result in competitive shipping rates," Information and Broadcasting Minister PR Dasmunsi said after the cabinet meeting.
The shipping protocol with Pakistan, a confidence-building measure after the 1971 Indo-Pak War, was restrictive in nature as it barred lifting of cargo from ports of both the countries destined for other contracting states by third country flag vessels.