With the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement set to become operational from Saturday, Pakistan has apparently decided not to accord the Most Favoured Nation status to India as well as tariff concessions due under SAFTA.
There was no official announcement in Islamabad but the local media reported that Pakistan would continue to trade with India with a positive list of items even after SAFTA comes into effect from Saturday.
Islamabad would accord tariff concessions on imports from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives under the SAFTA agreement but would continue to trade with India with a positive list until the two countries resolve political disputes, officials were quoted as saying by 'Daily Times' newspaper.
Pakistan has been stating in the recent months that it would not open up its trade front to India without the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan currently traded with India with a positive list of 773 items and Indian officials here believe that Islamabad may provide tariff concessions under SAFTA to only those 773 products.
Under SAFTA, all SAARC countries have to revert to a small negative list of products and reduce the tariff on the rest of the items to promote regional trade.
Pakistan for its part may try to derive maximum benefits from India under SAFTA as New Delhi has already accorded MFN status to it.