Dawn News

Pakistan's Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Asim Hussain.—File Photo

NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s petroleum minister on Tuesday said the country was willing to import diesel and jet fuel from rival India if the price is “right”.

The statement by visiting Pakistan petroleum minister, Asim Hussain, was the latest sign of warming ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

“If the right prices are given, we have no problems importing (diesel and jet fuel),” Hussain said on the sidelines of a petrochemical conference in the Indian capital, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

India and Pakistan have been channelling their peace efforts into “trade diplomacy” in a bid to build enough trust to tackle thornier issues that divide them such as the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

While Pakistan has removed fuel imports from its list of goods that were banned from being imported from India, it allows import of diesel and jet fuel only by ship.

India, which has refineries across the border, is keen to take the road route to reach fuel-short Pakistan.

“I think a way could be found (to import via land) as import of (fuel) products is not banned,” Hussain said, adding that a team from India’s state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp would soon visit Pakistan to discuss prices.

India in August lifted a ban on foreign investment from Pakistan except in defence, space and atomic energy in a step designed to build goodwill amid the renewed push for a peace settlement.

Pakistan has pledged to grant India “Most Favoured Nation (MFN)” status by year end, meaning Indian exports will be treated the same as those from other nations. India granted Pakistan MFN status in the mid-1990s.

Official bilateral trade is just $2.7 billion and heavily tilted in New Delhi’s favour, according to the most recent figures, but unofficial trade routed through third countries is estimated at up to $10 billion.

India warily resumed a full peace peace dialogue with Pakistan early last year after suspending it following the 2008 attack by Islamist gunmen on Mumbai that killed 166 people.

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Comments (18) Closed

Oct 17, 2012 07:20am
Where did fuel so far come from? Iran? I would be curious to know that and I am sure other readers too. So please, dear dawn editors, provide full information please. thanks!
Oct 18, 2012 06:29am
You are so funny.!
Oct 16, 2012 07:37pm
Open and balanced trade, less restrictive Visa requirements, better coordination between law enforcement agencies, and even exchange of military officers will eventually make any border issues useless!
vijay, chennai, India
Oct 17, 2012 06:18am
please go ahead
Vipul Thakore
Oct 17, 2012 01:14pm
Most of the comments so far are not relevant. India imports crude oil, but it has large refining capacity. What the India-Pakistan discussion is about Pakistan, which imports not only crude oil, but also refined products from other countries, can import them from India. Due to short distance, especially using land routes, Pakistan can save lot of foreign exchange. The Global economy is not in good shape. Major developed economies are stagnant or in recession. Even China, India, Brazil etc also have lower growth rate, however, they are relatively growing at a faster rate. India is in much better position than most countries in reality.
sana yasin
Oct 17, 2012 04:50am
India need Pakistan now due to their financial crisis.Well Good Job done
Afzal K.
Oct 16, 2012 10:25pm
Asim Hussain Sahib : Have you thought of next door neighbour, Iran ?
Salim Mastan
Oct 17, 2012 03:11am
We can export biodiesel made from jatropha to India .Pakistan has the highest Yield of Jatropha and a 40x40 mile area would produce 2 to4 BILLION liters of Oil per year , 10 of these farms would generate 20 to 40 billions $ dollars Per year and employ 1 crore people Salim mastan
Oct 17, 2012 03:21am
yes, no wrong in purchasing petroleum products from india. All this should be done to fulfill our needs and daily energy requirements.
Oct 17, 2012 12:26am
Commercial transactions are done when the price is right and both the parties agree.
Oct 16, 2012 08:18pm
Fuel should be imported from Iran. Period. Enough said.
Oct 16, 2012 05:52pm
Looks like bikharis are doing favour to us . Well u need fuel therefore u r importing it ...not because u r doing any favour ...I am having a good laugh:)
Oct 17, 2012 09:46pm
Iran has crude oil but limited and ailing refining capacity. India has limited indigenous sources for crude oil but excess refining capacity.
Rafiq Ahmed
Oct 17, 2012 01:48am
So in other words, India imports oil from Iran under a US waiver then exports to Pakistan?
Oct 18, 2012 11:51am
Very well explained who don't understand . Well done
Oct 16, 2012 05:44pm
Friendship between the two estranged neighbors will lead to a better future for both countries. It will hopefully cut defence spending, which will mean more money for the masses.
Oct 17, 2012 03:15pm
Yes, definitely do that if you can run your cars, trains and aircrafts on crude oil instead of petrol, diesel or ATF. :)
Oct 17, 2012 03:13pm
For the benefit of readers here, fuel here means refined petrol and diesel. Not crude whhich can be imported from any oil producing country. For the wisdom of Pakistan's raders, India is one of the worlds biggest exporters of petroleum products. India's refineries import crude and sell finished petroleum products.