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Pak vows to open commerce, ease visa rules to improve ties with India

New Delhi, Wed, 16 Nov 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Nov 16 (ANI): Pakistan has agreed to start business in a major way with India by February, and ease visa rules in the latest sign of normalising trade relations with its nuclear-armed rival.


"We have turned the corner," The Dawn quoted Pakistan's Trade Secretary Zafar Mehmood, as saying at a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart in Delhi.


"We are talking of a complete normalisation roadmap," he added.


The two countries' trade secretaries agreed that Pakistan will replace a limited list of items India can sell across the border, with a short list of items that cannot be traded.


Both the countries also agreed to push for easing of visa rules that severely restrict travel across the heavily armed border. They will look at the feasibility of electricity trading and will open a second road trading post by February.


Lasting India-Pakistan peace is seen as vital to South Asian stability and to smoothing a dangerous transition in Afghanistan as NATO-led combat forces plan to withdraw from that country in 2014.


Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani had vowed to open a new chapter in their fragile history after a nearly an hour-long discussion at the Maldives last week. (ANI)


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