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Pakistan refuses Afghan trade with India through land routes

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Pakistan refuted the news that it has expressed readiness to talk on restoration of Afghanistan-India trade route using Pakistani’s land.

“Pakistan has not agreed to consider Afghanistan-India trade through our land,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.

The rejection came after US said that Pakistan is considering resumption of India-Afghanistan trade via its territory.

Pakistan had approached Afghanistan earlier this year and indicated its willingness to discuss resumption of trade between Afghanistan and India via Pakistan through the land route, United States ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass said.

The revelation is significant, given that for years Pakistan has not allowed Indian goods to be transported to Afghanistan through its territory.

Bass said the Pakistani government had approached Afghanistan after looking at two developments.

“We have seen an increase in exports from Afghanistan to India (through air cargo)… it is obviously one part of the export strategy but it is an important part… and I think part of the reason why, in addition to the economic relationship between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, a couple of months ago for the first time the Pakistani government expressed a willingness to start talking with its Afghan counterparts for parameters to enabling trade between India and Afghanistan through Pakistan,” he said.

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