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Pakistan rejects opening of Afghan trade route for India

Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has rejected the news that Pakistan has expressed its readiness to talk on restoration of India-Afghanistan trade route using Pakistan's land, local media reported.

Reports quoting foreign ministry said Pakistan has not agreed to consider Afghanistan-India trade through their land.

The rejection came after the US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass said Pakistan is considering resumption of India-Afghanistan trade via its territory.

Pakistan had approached Afghanistan earlier this year and indicated its willingness to resume trade between Afghanistan and India through its land, Bass said.

The revelation is significant given the fact that Pakistan has not allowed Indian goods to be transported through its territory into Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi led a high level official delegation on his maiden foreign visit to Kabul on 15 September.

The Foreign Minister met Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and held delegation level talks with his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani.

The Foreign Minister during his engagements with Afghan leadership conveyed that the new government attached importance to its relations with Afghanistan and would work towards further deepening cooperation in the fields of trade development and connectivity.

He also reiterated Pakistan's support for the National Unity Government's efforts to bring lasting peace in Afghanistan.

He assured the Afghan leadership that Pakistan, along with other partners of Afghanistan, remained ready to play constructive role in facilitating an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and reconciliation.

He underscored the importance of cooperation and coordination between the two countries in the areas of counter-terrorism and security and offered to train Afghan police and law enforcement agencies in Pakistani institutions. APAPPS provided most useful platform to deliver the objectives.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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