In a surprising move, Pakistan has approached Afghanistan and suggested it to resume trade with India through its territory, The Economic Times has quoted United States Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass as saying.
A remarkable feat, given the fact that Pakistan has not allowed Indian goods to be transported through its territory. A significant increase in the cargo traffic (via air) is reported to have prompted Pakistan to have a change in mind says, Bass.
John Bass was speaking at the trade and investment show being held in Mumbai. He appreciated the contribution of Indian investments in Afghanistan’s growth. The trade show in Delhi last year had attracted investments up to $27 million and a planned investment of $200 million, much of which has already materialised.
Increased trade connectivity in both directions was in Pakistan’s long-term interest, he added. Benefits of trade and transit through south and central Asia via Afghanistan will be a missed opportunity, if the status quo is allowed to continue in Pakistan.
He also elaborated upon the plans of the US government to tweak its sanctions by taking into consideration the Indian government’s appeal to see how Chabahar Port will factor in and its implications.
The US, however, still maintains its tough stance on Iran sanctions and wants Iran to be accountable for its actions.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, dismissed the news.“We have not considered the possibility of Afghanistan-India trade through our territory,” reports quoted Qureshi as saying.
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