Pakistan may allow land transit between India and Afghanistan
01 Oct 2009
Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide rail and road transit facilities to India for its trade with Afghanistan, Pakistan commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim has said.
He said the Pakistan government will finalise the formalities in this regard but will "ensure that its national interests are protected".
The MoU was signed following a request from the Indian government that Pakistan should facilitate road and rail transit of goods for its trade with Afghanistan, Fahim said.
Pakistan has so far been unwilling to open up the land route to Afghanistan despite Afghanistan's insistence to renew and expand transit trade agreement with Pakistan.
During the trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the United States in Washington early this year, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari had signed a MoU to begin talks for renewing their transit trade agreement.
Under the MoU, both sides were to strive to sign an agreement that would ultimately allow India also to use Wagah-Khyber route for trade with Afghanistan.