India on Wednesday “deeply appreciated” Pakistan’s decision to grant it Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, stating the move will also help improve political ties between the two neighbours.

“We deeply appreciate this positive gesture that Pakistan has taken,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in New Delhi.

Mr. Sharma spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim immediately after the decision was taken by the Pakistani Cabinet.

When asked whether the move would help improve political relationship between the countries, he said: “...It will be influencing definitely in positive manner. We need to sustain this in the coming months.”

He said that when bilateral economic engagement improves, it brings prosperity and growth to both the partners.

Mr. Sharma said Mr. Makhdoom’s September visit here was a major step forward in this direction.

Under MFN status, Pakistan will treat India at par with its other favoured trading partners. India has already granted this status to the neighbouring country way back in 1996.

“It will be beneficial for both the countries. It opens up new pathways of alleviating our economic engagement to a much higher level,” the minister said.


India not granted MFN status, says Gilani November 5, 2011

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