Pakistan postpones MFN talks till completion of Indian elections

Islamabad: Pakistan's talks with India on the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status have been postponed till the completion of the Indian general elections and installation of a new government in New Delhi, media reported Tuesday.


Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan at a press conference Monday said Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his recent visit to The Hague in the Netherlands for the two-day third Nuclear Security Summit last month had made it clear that Pakistan was open to offering non-discriminatory market access (NDMA) to India on a reciprocal basis after working it out with the new Indian government, Dawn online reported.


The Indian general elections to elect the 16th Lok Sabha commenced April 7 and will conclude May 12. Counting of votes shall be on May 16


Trade with India will prove to be quite beneficial for Pakistan and normalisation of trade ties with India was the government's top priority, Khan said.


The process of granting MFN status to India got delayed due to several reasons, including the Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma's visit to Pakistan which was due mid-February but did not materialise, he said.


During the press conference, Khurram Dastagir Khan hinted at the government's decision to go ahead with the announcement of trade liberalisation with India and also awarding MFN status to Delhi.