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Old Friday, September 05, 2008
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India invited to cross-LoC trade talks

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD, Sept 4: Pakistan has invited India to a meeting for starting trade across the Line of Control in Kashmir.

The invitation was extended by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir in a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Satyabrata Pal here on Thursday.

“Pakistan’s proposal is in pursuit of the agreement-in-principle reached at the foreign secretaries’ talks on July 21 in New Delhi,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said.

Mr Bashir told the high commissioner that the AJK Chamber of Commerce was ready to send a delegation to Srinagar for finalising modalities and firming up commercial contracts.

The Foreign Office reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to taking necessary steps to facilitate the trade.

India had accused Pakistan last month of delaying the start of the cross-LoC trade.

Pakistan said that it had provided a composite list of commodities to be traded, while India has provided separate lists for import and export which are being studied by the commerce ministry.

APP adds: Indian Home Minister Shiv Raj Petal told the Voice of America that the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar road would be opened for trade soon.

He said he wanted to accelerate the process to open the road and India was willing to hold negotiations with Pakistan in this respect.

He said Pakistan was cooperating on the issue.
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