Indo-Pak business forum meet deferred on security grounds

A two-day meeting of business leaders from India and Pakistan, which was slated to begin here from November 30, has been deferred due to security concerns raised by the neighbouring country.
Sources in the Pakistan High Commission said the members of the delegation have raised concerns regarding the security issues keeping in view the controversy around shows by Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali.
The Pakistani delegation had sought an assurance from the Indian government for the safety of their members during their visit here, but did not get any response in this regard from the Indian side as the leaders were making the visit on industry chamber CII’s invitation, sources added.
“The India-Pakistan Joint Business Forum meeting was scheduled for the end of this month. But it has been deferred. It may happen after a few months now,” an industry source said.
Recently, a music concert of Ghulam Ali was cancelled in Mumbai after protests by the Shiv Sena.
Later the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government invited the singer to Delhi. But very recently the news about scrapping the event came. Ali had said the situation was not conducive for music right now.
Sensing a possible agitation, the International Cricket Council (ICC) in October had also pulled out Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar from the India-South Africa ODI match to be played in Mumbai.
In the forum, business leaders from both sides take stock of the progress in all sectors of bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
It has identified ten areas of cooperation which includes agriculture, automotive and engineering, chemical and petrochemicals, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, IT, textiles, healthcare and trade facilitation.
The forum is headed by Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero Corporate Services from India. The Pakistani side is led by Syed Yawar Ali Shah, former CEO of Nestle Pakistan.
India had granted the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan way back in 1996, but the neighbouring country has not yet reciprocated.
The bilateral trade between the countries has declined to USD 1.35 billion in 2014-15 from USD 1.84 billion in 2013-14

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