Pakistan may grant MFN status to India after new Indian govt takes office: Dobbins

Eurasia News

WASHINGTON: Pakistan may grant the most favoured nation (MFN) status to India after new Indian government takes office following May 2014 general elections, a step that would prove to be fruitful in improving the relationship between the two neighbours, a top Obama administration official said.

In response to a question at a hearing on Afghanistan by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador James Dobbins said that “We have raised this with the government of Pakistan on several occasions and, indeed, with the government of India, specifically the grant of most favoured nations. It came up while (Pakistan) Prime Minister Sharif was here in Washington during a visit a month ago.”

“The Pakistanis have indicated their intention is to provide, is to grant MFN to India. The question is one of timing. We, of course, have urged it to be done as quickly as possible,” Dobbins said.

James Dobbins said “They didn’t say so, but I think they may be waiting until a new Indian government takes office. They probably want to do this in the part of a context of other improvements in the relationship.”

“MFN for India would be a positive step and, indeed, a general opening of the border to more commerce would also be very helpful for Afghanistan as you’ve indicated and for all those reasons we continue to support it,” he added.