Gilani for 'mutually beneficial' trade relations with India

Gilani for 'mutually beneficial' trade relations with India

Gilani also stressed on establishing "mutually beneficial trade relations" with India. His comments came a day before Commerce Secretaries of the two countries were to meet here for two days.

"Constructive engagement with India is essential so that both the countries could move towards the goal of establishing good neighbourly relations," Gilani said during a meeting with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood.

"Pakistan wants to move towards comprehensive and broad-ranging engagements with India on the basis of equality, mutual trust, mutual interest and mutual respect," an official release from the Premier's Office quoted him as saying.

Gilani asked the Commerce Secretary to take on board all stakeholders for establishing "mutually beneficial trade relations with India". The Commerce Secretary informed Gilani that the Pakistan-India trade volume was around USD two billion.

Mahmood told Gilani that 1,946 items are being traded between the two countries and discussed the agenda of the upcoming talks with him. Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar arrived here today for talks with Mahmood as part of the dialogue process that was revived by the two countries in February this year.

Since the resumption of parleys, the Home and Interior Secretaries have held talks on ways to tackle terrorism and cross-border crimes while a Judicial Committee on Prisoners has discussed ways to speed up the release of fishermen and other prisoners being held in jails in both countries.

Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh also met on the margins of the Pakistan-India semi-final of the cricket World Cup at Mohali last month. Both leaders reiterated their commitment to the dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues between the two sides.

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