Pakistan's cabinet today unanimously decided to grant India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and ease trade restrictions between the two countries, in a move that could improve relations between the two South Asian rivals.
"Today, after an extensive briefing by the commerce secretary, the cabinet unanimously decided to grant India Most Favoured Nation status," Pakistan's information minister Firdos Ashiq Awan told a news conference.
"This was a decision taken in the national interest and all stakeholders, including our defence institutions, were on board," Awan said.
The positive development comes after India last month announced plans to consider granting entry into India to textiles and other goods from Pakistan at concessional or zero duty, on similar terms that have been offered to Bangladesh.
India also sought similar treatment from Pakistan and wanted it to go beyond a positive list-negative list, and instead follow the Safta principle of trade with a small sensitive list of items, which could be pruned over time.
Commerce secretaries of the two countries are expected to meet on 14-18 November to announce the new trade regime.