‘Creating conducive conditions important for flourishing trade'

The Pakistan High Commissioner in India, Shahid Mailk, said here on Friday that there was no political instability in Pakistan.

Reacting to journalists' query on a coup-like situation in Pakistan, Mr. Malik quipped: “Coup is your perception. There is no current political instability.” He was speaking to journalists this afternoon after addressing an interactive session on India-Pakistan Trade organised by the Merchants Chamber of Commerce.

“Creating conducive conditions was important for flourishing trade,” he said, adding that dialogue on core issues like Kashmir would have to take place in tandem with trade talks.

Earlier, addressing the session, he said that while “there was a move towards full normalisation of trade”, dialogues on issues such as Kashmir, bilateral trade, people-to-people contact and water-related issues were necessary for building durable peace. We hope that the process, started a few years back can continue uninterrupted and stays uninterruptible.” In another context he said later: “We are not seeking hegemony but we do not accept hegemony from any quarters.”

Mr. Malik said Pakistan had finalised a new visa policy under which one-year visa would be given for businessmen, with multiple entry in 10 cities. He however pointed out in this context that often businessmen from Pakistan did not get Indian visas, which was seen as a non-tariff barrier in that country.

“Exporters face NTBs, despite the most favoured nation status that India has accorded.” India gave MFN status to Pakistan a few years back, however, Mr. Malik said, despite this, exports from Pakistan to India had not picked up although Pakistan exported its goods all over the world.

Mr. Malik said that a negative list of items (that substitutes a nearly 200-item-long positive list) that can be imported from India, was expected to be ratified by February 25. “The consultation process, based on inputs from relevant people, is almost complete. It would be ratified by February 25 based on certain measures which are required to be taken by India, like the removal of NTB.”

He said the Pakistan Commerce Minister had visited India last year and observed that this was the first time in 35 years that a Pakistani Commerce Minister visited India. He said India's Commerce Minister would soon visit Pakistan accompanied by a business delegation.

For the first time, a ‘Made in India' exhibition would be held held in Lahore in the second week of February in association with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, the India Trade Promotion Organisation and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.

‘Dialogue on core issues need to take place in tandem with trade talks'

‘New policy that will give one-year visas to businessmen has been finalised'

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