Pakistan hesitant to allow India-Afghan transit trade through its soil

     In spite of repeated appeals from Afghanistan, Pakistan is jittery over allowing India to use its land routes for carrying out trade with Kabul. Earlier this year, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to begin talks for renewing their transit trade agreement. While addressing a joint press conference with Karzai and Zardari, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said that the trade agreement would greatly benefit the people of the region, and also highlighted India's role in this regard. Clinton said both Pakistan and Afghanistan would strive to sign an agreement that would ultimately allow India to use the Wagah-Khyber route for trade with Afghanistan. However, India's trading relations with Afghanistan through Pakistan are yet to resume, Xinhua reported. Soon after the US,Pakistan,Afghanistan trilateral meeting in May 2009, Pakistani officials had made it clear that Islamabad would not allow Afghanistan transit facility to import oil from India. They said Pakistan could not grant the transit facility, because Indo-Pak trade was suspended ever since the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

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