Safta & Pak: LDCs may bolster India’s stand

Financial Express, India

Safta & Pak: LDCs may bolster India’s stand

HUMA SIDDIQUI

29 August 2006

NEW DELHI, AUG 28: India is likely to get the support of least developed country (LDC) members of the Safta in its fight against Pakistan’s refusal to implement the agreement in its letter and spirit.

The implementation of the agreement is yet to take off due to certain technical snags and also due to the dispute raised by India against Pakistan’s decision of not extending to India the same tariff benefits as it is doing to other Saarc countries.

Speaking to FE, officials said LDC members like Bangladesh were increasingly getting impatient with Pakistan for creating conditions resulting in uncertainty for the future of the agreement.

It has been argued that this problem should be resolved through initiation of bilateral consultations as it is a complaint only one country has with another. “This matter does not concern India alone. It is a negation of Safta and jeopardises the implementation of the agreement,” officials said.

According to them, Pakistan’s policy affects all contracting parties and questions the future direction that the agreement might take, as it threatens to unravel the entire agreement including trade concessions.

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