No India-Afghanistan trade route through Pakistan

September 18, 2018 - 9:17

TEHRAN - Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has rejected reports that Pakistan has expressed its readiness to discuss the restoration of India-Afghanistan trade route using Pakistan’s land.

“Pakistan has not agreed to consider Afghanistan-India trade through our land,” Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement, quoting Qureshi.  

Indian newspaper Economic Times had earlier carried an interview with U.S. envoy to Afghanistan John Bass, in which he revealed that Pakistan had approached Afghanistan earlier this year and indicated its willingness to resume trade between Afghanistan and India through its land.

It grabbed headlines in India and Afghanistan as Pakistan has not allowed Indian goods to be transported through its territory to Afghanistan.  

The U.S. envoy further said that a political settlement in Afghanistan “is in Pakistan’s long-term interest”, adding that Indian firms were investing heavily in Afghanistan’s growth.

He also spoke about the after-effects of U.S. sanctions on Iran and the impact it would have on Chabahar port, which figured prominently in 2+2 dialogue between U.S. and Indian officials in New Delhi recently.  

Meanwhile, Qureshi ended his first overseas visit to Afghanistan on a happy note. During the visit, he held talks with senior political leaders in Kabul, including President Ashraf Ghani, and discussed ways of enhancing bilateral ties, including the need to fight the menace of terrorism together.

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