Top Pak ministers back MFN status to India

Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, both from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, welcomed the move to grant MFN status in public comments.

Malik said the measure "would have a positive impact on bilateral relations".

However, he said parliament should reverse the decision to give India MFN-status if it considered it was not favourable.

Mukhtar, a businessman who owns the Servis Group, today said granting MFN status to India would have "positive impacts on the economy of both countries".

Talking to reporters at Lalamusa in Punjab, Mukhtar said the government had acted on the move to grant India the MFN-status, which had been pending for 30 years.

Malik told reporters outside parliament yesterday that he personally believed good relations between neighbouring countries always had a positive impact on bilateral relations.

Though Information Minister Firdous Awan announced on Wednesday that the cabinet had unanimously approved a proposal to give India MFN status, the Foreign Office said yesterday that the cabinet had only "decided in principle to according MFN to India" and both countries would have to work towards the goal in future engagements.

The move to grant MFN status has been welcomed by several trade lobbies in Pakistan.

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