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India, Pakistan commerce secretaries meet

Indian and Pakistani commerce secretaries met in New Delhi on  Wednesday in an attempt to smoothen trade relations ahead of a meeting of their commerce ministers.

The secretary-level talks, between Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao and his Pakistani counterpart Qasim M. Niyaz, came after more than a year. The last talks were held in September 2012.

Hindrances in trade liberalisation and granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India by Pakistan are said to have figured in the talks.

The talks come ahead of the ministerial-level talks between Pakistan's Minister of State for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

Khan is visiting India from Thursday to attend a SAARC Business Leaders conclave.

The trade liberalisation process between the two nations was hit after the killing of two Indian soldiers, including the beheading of one, in January last year.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) president Zubair Ahmed Malik is heading a 65-member delegation to the SAARC business conclave.