Bilateral reconciliation should go on: Pakistani official

Kolkata, Jan 10: A senior Pakistani official, referring to the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops, on Thursday said that such incidents should not be allowed to sabotage bilateral reconciliation.

"Pakistan foreign office has already given its reaction. We believe that these kinds of incidents should not be allowed to sabotage bilateral reconciliation and I think both countries are trying to reconcile things so this process should go on," Naeem Anwar, Minister, (Trade) High Commission of Pakistan in India, said.

"Nazar lag jaati hai (attempts to peace has invited adverse attention)," he said speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on 'SAARC: Success and Challenges' organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Asked who was trying to sabotage the peace process between India and Pakistan, Anwar said, "Whoever is the beneficiary of this tension. They would like incidents like this ... Best way is that the process of reconciliation should continue."

When told that there were unconfirmed media reports that India was planning to suspend trade ties with Pakistan, Anwar said, "That should not be an option as there has been substantial growth in trade and commerce between the nations. And, I think this is the Asia century and India and Pakistan should reconcile things and lead South Asia in the future." Asked to comment on reports that Pakistan was rethinking granting most favoured nation (MFN) status to India, Anwar said, it was only a process of consultation.

"Rethinking is not the correct word. Actually, in the process of consultation new issues arise, so, we are addressing the issues," he said. "We want relationships to be on a sustainable basis and we want all stakeholders involved so that any decision taken for opening the market should go a long way," he said.

"So, the consultation process is going on and hopefully very shortly the process will be complete. This is our in-house consultation," he said. The Pakistan government has reportedly held up the grant of MFN-status after several ministries and trade lobbies contended that rapid trade liberalisation would allow Indian goods and products to swamp the Pakistani market.


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