India, Pak to issue multiple-entry visas to traders: Fahim

Islamabad: India and Pakistan have agreed to solve visa problems faced by businessmen of both countries by issuing multiple-entry visas valid for a year, Pakistani Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim said Thursday.

Both countries had agreed on issuing multiple-entry visas to traders during his recent visit to India, Fahim told the media.

All controversial issues between the two countries will be discussed one by one, he said. It had also been agreed during his visit that India will not oppose the World Trade Organisation waiver sought by the European Union for granting duty-free access for certain goods from Pakistan, Fahim said.

Asked about Pakistan's invitation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit the country, Fahim said the invitation had been accepted but dates for the visit will be decided later. Foreign Minister spokesperson Tehmina Janjua, speaking during a weekly news briefing, said Commerce Minister Fahim had concluded a "good visit" to India during which the two countries agreed that their Commerce Secretaries would meet again in November to discuss ways to enhance trade.

"It is our hope that India's decision not to raise any further questions in WTO will smooth the way for early agreement on the EU waiver on a specific list of goods in the WTO for Pakistan," Janjua said.

In response to a question, Janjua said there had been no change in Pakistan's decision not to allow Indian goods to be transported to Afghanistan under a transit trade agreement signed by Islamabad and Kabul.

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