According to Indian state media, the issues came up for discussion during the meeting of Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, during the latter’s visit to India.
CM Shahbaz Sharif was accompanied by Minister of State for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan.
“Both sides agreed that ongoing technical talks for electricity transmission line and bilateral trade of power/gas need to be revitalized, so that there is tangible progress for actual flow of gas and power between both the countries,” an official statement said.
Both the sides expressed hope that continuous engagements between business communities would pave the way for deeper bilateral economic cooperation, including opening of bank branches on a reciprocal basis which would help facilitate bilateral trade.
Sharma conveyed that India stands committed to the roadmap for bilateral trade normalization as was worked out in September 2012 between Commerce Secretaries of both the sides.
As per the roadmap, Pakistan would remove restrictions on trade through land route (Attari-Wagah Integrated Check Post). It would also eliminate its balance 1,209 products from its current negative list of items importable from India.
On the basis of these agreed steps to be taken, Sharma reiterated that India would give enhanced preferential trade access to Pakistan by bringing down its South Asia Free Trade Agreement sensitive list from 614 tariff lines to 100 tariff lines,” it said.
It said that Pakistan would also reduce SAFTA sensitive list for India to 100 tariff lines in a phased manner over five years.
It was also agreed that with the growing volume of trade by the land route, the working hours at Amritsar and Lahore.
“This suggestion was welcomed by both Sharif and Dastgir,” it added. The bilateral trade between the countries stood at about $3 billion.
Later to newsmen after visiting Mahatma Gandhi Power project in Haryana, CM Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan would welcome Indian offer for supply of electricity to Pakistan at a reasonable rate.
Shahbaz said said that Pakistan would seek co-operation of any country for ridding its people of darkness.
Shahbaz Sharif also said that resolving all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India through dialogue was the only way forward for establishing durable peace in the region.
He urged India to resolve the Kashmir issue with sincerity and fair play and give peace a chance.
Sharif said the Kashmir dispute had the potential to escalate war between the two countries which would be devastating for everyone.
He said war was not an option for the two nuclear powered countries. He said, “History bears testimony that even the most ardent enemies
have settled their disputes through talks and not war.”