Pak rejects India's contention on SAFTA | india | Hindustan Times
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Pak rejects India's contention on SAFTA

india Updated: Aug 01, 2006 16:53 IST
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Rejecting India's contention over the implementation of SAFTA, Pakistan on Tuesday said New Delhi's move to raise the issue at the SAARC Foreign Secretary-level meeting amounted to violation of procedures laid down under the agreement for resolution of differences.

A day after India accused it of limiting trade with it under SAFTA, which came into effect on July 1, Islamabad said New Delhi's objections related to its domestic law which is not contrary to provisions of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).

"The Indian attempt to bring this matter to the (SAARC) Standing Committee was rejected by Pakistan mainly because it violates the SAFTA procedure for resolution of differences," Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan told reporters here.

India on Monday registered its objections to Pakistan's effort to limit trade with it under SAFTA and said it was a negation of the agreement and jeopardised implementation of the pact decided upon by the leadership of all seven-member countries.

India said the Pakistani move would have bearing on the success of the SAARC process itself.

Pakistan Government had issued a notification regarding tariff concessions extended under it to SAARC countries.

The notification limits SAFTA tariff concessions for India to items on the existing bilateral positive list, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said.

"This is clearly a violation of Article 23 of the SAFTA agreement," Saran said after the SAARC Foreign Secretary-level meeting here on Monday evening.