Krishna’s visit: India, Pakistan to spur cross-border trade

August 14th, 2012 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) India and Pakistan are expected to spur some new confidence-building measures to accelerate cross-border trade and are likely sign an accord for liberalising the visa regime during External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s visit to Islamabad next month.

Krishna travels to Islamabad on a three-day trip Sep 7 to hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar.

The two ministers will review the progress in the second round of bilateral dialogue after the two countries revived the process in February last year following the post 26/11 freeze.

Measures to increase trading days across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir are expected to be unveiled during the visit, informed sources said here Tuesday.

With 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal disclosing alleged links of Pakistani state agencies with the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem, India is expected to raise issues relating to cross-border terror, said the sources.

Terrorism and its fallout on India is and will be an important issue in the dialogue between India and Pakistan, said the sources.

Krishna’s visit takes place amid the easing of economic ties between the two countries with Pakistan moving in the direction of giving India the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and India removing the decades-long ban on foreign direct investment from Pakistan.

Amid security concerns in some quarters about the FDI from Pakistan, the sources pointed out that like with any other case of FDI, every single investment proposal will go through a process of scrutiny.

The two sides are also likely to sign a landmark agreement for liberalising the visa regime that will enhance travel and people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

The agreement was expected to be signed during talks between home secretaries in May, but could not be done as Islamabad was keen that the agreement should be inked at the political level.

“Pakistan has to complete its procedures. We are ready to sign it when they are ready,” said an Indian source.

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