Executive Intelligence Review


Pakistan May Allow India and Afghanistan To Trade Over Land Via Its Territory

Sept. 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—Pakistan had approached Afghanistan earlier this year and indicated its willingness to discuss resumption of trade between Afghanistan and India via Pakistan through the land route, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass told the Indian financial daily Economic Times in an interview published today. This is a major positive shift in Pakistan’s attitude towards India vis-á-vis Afghanistan, and when implemented, Pakistan’s gesture will vastly improve India-Pakistan relations.

Bass said the Pakistani government had approached Afghanistan after looking at two developments. “We have seen an increase in exports from Afghanistan to India (through air cargo). It is obviously one part of the export strategy, but it is an important part, and I think part of the reason why, in addition to the economic relationship between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, a couple of months ago, for the first time, the Pakistani government expressed a willingness to start talking with its Afghan counterparts for parameters to enable trade between India and Afghanistan through Pakistan,”

he said.

Bass did not mention what role the United States may have played in bringing about this positive environment. However, in early September, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been in Pakistan meeting all its top leaders, including the Pakistani Army chief.