KARACHI - Pakistani industrialists are hope for the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) from India to enhance bilateral trade ties on equal basis and are expecting from Pakistani delegation to safeguard their interests by keeping it on top of the agenda. The business community is highly sceptical of the haste shown so far and has advised the government officials to remain cautious at every level in order to not only benefit from the regional trade but also to protect and encourage local industry to be more competitive and forward looking. Pakistans delegation will discuss issues of Non-Tariff Barriers with Indian officials as first agenda that will lead towards enhancing trade ties with neighbouring country, stated former President of Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of Metro Group Gujrat, Imtiaz Mirza. The statement has been surfaced very timely when Federal Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood is going to meet his Indian counterpart in New Delhi on November 14 and 15th next week, and during talks, various trade related issues between Pakistan and India are likely to be discussed. Imtiaz Mirza, who is the internal committee member of Ministry of Commerce formed on MFN, said Zafar Mahmood should predominantly highlight the issue of NTBs with Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar, which are the main cause of insignificant exports from Pakistan to India. The aim of the talks is to boost trade among the two countries provided that interest of local manufacturers will be protected to provide them level playing field. Now, he said, it is high time Pakistan demands India to remove all Non-Tariff Barriers as it is expecting from Pakistan. He further said that Pakistani manufacturers have been waiting for the equal treatment since 1995, when Pakistan was granted MFN status by India. Different circles in the business community criticized the government for its lack of support for local industries. They said that it is very unfortunate that Pakistani delegations have always failed to safeguard the interest of local manufacturers whereas they have advocated the Indian interests. Business community in Pakistan is apparently divided on the issue of MFN status to India as interests of the industrialists/manufacturers and traders run in totally different directions. Industrialists said that a group believes that local industrialists and manufacturers have had no benefit of MFN status given to Pakistan by India in 1995 due to clever tactics and shrewd planning by the Indian government. While on the other hand, it is an intellectual dishonesty that traders are projecting Pakistans decision to award MFN status to India in benefit of the Pakistani businesses. They said that the textile lobby is trying tooth and nail to get access to European Union (EU) thats why they are using India as a staircase at the cost of local industries and manufacturers providing employment to millions of Pakistanis. Despite having restricted trade with India, they said, the trade balance by Indian Commerce Ministry shows that Pakistan exports to India, during 2008-09 and 2009-10, stood at $370 million and $276 million respectively, whereas Indian exports to Pakistan without MFN status stood at $1,439 million and $1,573 during the same period respectively. Industrialists said that the Indian exports are rising without MFN status whereas Pakistani exports dropped despite having MFN status. They said, because of the non-tariff barriers created by Indian bureaucracy, the Pakistani exporters could not get access to Indian markets. They said that cement and textile sectors are the best examples where Pakistani cement manufacturers have been demanding removal of non-tariff barriers but even the Pakistani government could not persuade the Indian government for the same.