India, Pak to discuss petro trade

Even as India and Pakistan are set to hold another round of talks to explore trade in petroleum products this week, no significant headway is expected as Islamabad is apprehensive about allowing New Delhi to hold the key to its energy security.

A seven-member delegation of Pakistan government’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce is all set to hold a meeting with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss ways to start bilateral trade in petroleum products.

India is keen to export petrol, diesel and furnace oil to Pakistan. But, according to sources, Pakistan wants to start by importing only limited quantity of petrol from India. New Delhi and Islamabad constituted a “Group of Experts to expand Trade in Petroleum Products” in June 2011 to discuss trade arrangements, building of cross border pipelines and use of road and rail route.

The prospect of an expansion in bilateral trade and economic relation grew as Pakistan earlier this year moved closer to granting India the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status.

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