Tuesday, May 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pak discusses MFN status for India

Islamabad, May 26
The first of a series of meetings ordered by Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali to consider granting the most favoured nation (MFN) treatment to India was held here toay.

No concrete decisions were taken at the meeting hosted by the foreign ministry and attended by middle-level bureaucrats from the ministries of commerce and finance, an official who participated in the discussions, said.

Several proposals forwarded by the ministries of railways, defence, communications and information were discussed during the five-hour meeting, he said.

“We would discuss these proposals in detail at subsequent meetings in which officers from more ministries would be participating,” said the official.

The final recommendations would be made at a meeting of ministers that is likely to take place in the third week of June.

“The ministers of defence, commerce, finance, foreign affairs, railways and communications and information would be participating in the meeting,” said the official.

Among the issues to be discussed at the meetings is the resumption of air, rail and road links between India and Pakistan. IANS



India to start Lahore bus service 

New Delhi, May 26
The Vajpayee government tonight unilaterally announced fresh sets of confidence-building measures vis a vis Pakistan and decided to resume the Delhi-Lahore bus service snapped in the wake of the December 13, 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament House.

The government also decided to release 70 Pakistani fishermen and 60 civilian prisoners at present in Indian custody.

These major CBMs were announced by the Ministry of External Affairs late tonight barely 13 hours before Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee takes off for his crucial three-nation tour.

The Pakistani fishermen would be transferred as soon as Pakistan indicates that it is ready to accept them.

The MEA said in a statement that Mr Vajpayee had emphasised the importance of people-to-people contacts for creating a conducive atmosphere in Indo-Pak relations. TNS


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