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Islamabad Not Opening Afghan Trade Route for Indian

Tuesday 18 September 2018

KABUL (Pajhwok Afghan News) — Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (شاه محمود قریشی) on Sunday refuted the news that Pakistan has expressed its readiness to talk on the restoration of India-Afghanistan trade route using Pakistan’s land.

“Pakistan has not agreed to consider Afghanistan-India trade through our land”, the Foreign Office said while quoting Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The rejection came after US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass has said that Pakistan is considering resumption of India-Afghanistan trade via its territory. Pakistan had already approached Afghanistan earlier this year and indicated its willingness to resume trade between Afghanistan and India through its land, Bass told The Economic Times in an interview on Saturday.

Last year, India opened a new trade route to Afghanistan that bypasses Pakistan, dispatching its first consignment of wheat via the Iranian port of Chabahar. The strategic sea route is a significant step in bolstering trade with Kabul that has been hampered because rival Pakistan does not allow India to transport goods to Afghanistan through its territory.

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