India, Pakistan Aim to Improve Trade Ties

Posted November 14th, 2011 at 10:05 am (UTC-5)
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India and Pakistan have begun talks to promote trade between the neighbors after Islamabad said it would grant most-favored-nation status to India.

On Monday, Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood and his Indian counterpart Rahul Khullar began two days of discussions in New Delhi aimed at doubling annual trade to $6 billion in the next three years.

Mahmood asked New Delhi to have “trust and faith” in the talks, saying the “times have changed” and Islamabad wants complete normalization of the bilateral trade.

India has already extended most-favored-nation status to Pakistan, giving it the designation in 1996.

Relations between the nuclear-armed rivals went into a diplomatic freeze after India blamed Pakistan-based militants for the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. Two of the wars were triggered by their territorial dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which remains a major hurdle in any comprehensive peace deal.