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Monday, October 3, 2011

Indian PM accepts invitation to visit Pakistan, says Fahim

ISLAMABAD: Commerce Minister Amin Fahim formally invited on Monday Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan, reviving hopes that the two countries would fully exploit the potential of economic and business ties.

Mr Fahim extended the invitation during a meeting with Dr Manmohan in New Delhi at the end of his visit, said a statement issued by the commerce ministry in Islamabad. The minister extended his three-day (Sept-27-30) trip and visited shrines of Sufis and other tourist spots in India.

On return from India, Mr Fahim told reporters that the Indian prime minister has accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan.
However, he did not say when would Mr Singh visit Islamabad.

Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is scheduled to visit Pakistan next month as the head of a delegation of businessmen.

Mr Fahim expressed the hope that all hurdles would be removed to achieve the bilateral trade target of $6 billion over the next three years. According to him, the Indian prime minister said India wanted to see Pakistan a prosperous country.

Mr Fahim said the Indian decision to reverse its earlier stand of blocking the EU trade package at the WTO would benefit Pakistan.

The package was due to be implemented in January, but delayed because of resistance by India. The issue is now likely to be taken up for consideration on Oct 20.

According to the commerce ministry, Mr Fahim praised active participation and keen interest taken by Pakistani and Indian business communities at business conclaves organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Dr Manmohan stressed that Pakistan and India should jointly fight poverty. He assured Mr Fahim of his government’s full cooperation in boosting trade between the two neighbouring countries. (

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