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July 10, 2013

Pakistan ready to have normal trade ties with India: Sartaj Aziz

July 10, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is prepared to establish normal trade ties with India but it will have to dispel the apprehensions of Pakistan’s agricultural lobby that is fearful about the subsidiaries being provided to its agriculturalists by the Indian government.
Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Senator Sartaj Aziz while talking to informally with the a group of newsmen here at the Foreign Office on Tuesday reminded that Pakistan had been working for improving ties with India and it was committed to have trade relations with it but India will have to provide level playing field for the trade communities of the two sides.
Pakistan had always fulfilled its commitment and it is waiting India to carry out its promises.He assured that Pakistan is desirous to have normal relationship with India. Sartaj Aziz said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh could have meeting in the United Nations headquarters in New York on the brinks of the UN annual summit in September next where both the leaders are expected to be present. The meeting could provide opportunity to the two leaders to discuss bilateral ties, regional situation and other issues.
To a query the Advisor to the PM said that the track-two diplomacy would be a continue affair as former Foreign Secretary Sheharyar Muhammad Khan has been deputed for the assignment. The impression of his visit to New Delhi as one time event isn’t correct. A senior Indian diplomat SK Lamba is heading the back channel diplomacy on behalf of India.
The PM’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi and Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry were also present during the media interaction of Senator Sartaj Aziz. To a question Sartaj Aziz said that he hasn’t scheduled to visit Afghanistan any soon. ‘I will visit Kabul as the situation is improved and normalize there,’ he said.
Interestingly Afghan President Hamid Karzai in sense of

insecurity is hurling threats and allegations against West and Pakistan out of frustration. Now US President Barrack Obama has hinted that the United States could withdraw its all the troops present in Afghanistan next year. The announcement has brought Karzai on the ground. He had earlier asking for conditions against having status of forces (SOF) agreement with the United States. A direct action against Pakistan was one of the silly conditions. It appears that Karzai would soon come to terms for accepting SOF.
Sartaj Aziz expressed hope that the US Secretary of State John Kerry would visit to Pakistan towards the end of the month and the two countries will have candid discussions on all issues including the senseless drone’s attacks. Pakistan is interested in having broad based ties with the United States, he said. The advisor expressed his satisfaction about the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China.
Tariq Fatimi who was with the premier in his trip to China told the newsmen that number of beneficial projects are being worked out between the two countries as the prime minister has constituted a task force under federal minister Ahsan Iqbal to supervise and monitor the whole process. The task force will ensure speedy completion of the projects which were agreed and inked during the visit of the prime minister to China, he added.
In the meanwhile Foreign Office has dispatched a five-page brief to all missions abroad where the new dimensions of the Foreign Policy have been spelled out. The dimensions and priorities of the policy have been determined by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is also holding the portfolio of the Foreign Affairs.
The sources in the Foreign Office told The News have said that the brief has emphasized beside other instructions to enhance economic and trade ties with the whole world. The diplomatic missions are required to work for attracting investment and provision of maximum assistance to Pakistani community living abroad. Improvement of relations with the countries of the region so that peace should prevail as is the essential ingredient for the economic development.
The brief reminded that Pakistan would keep on working for the settlements of the disputes with India through peaceful means including the dispute of Kashmir, the sources added.

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