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Pakistan And Afghanistan Sign 'Landmark' Trade Pact

U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke praised the agreement
Afghanistan and Pakistan have signed what is being hailed as a landmark trade deal.

The commerce secretaries of the two countries signed the agreement in Islamabad as visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looked on.

U.S. officials believe it will boost development and incomes on both sides of the border and contribute to the fight against extremism.

The agreement would ease restrictions on cross-border transportation.

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, held up the agreement as "a vivid demonstration of the two countries coming closer together."

It must still be approved by the Afghan parliament and Pakistani Cabinet.

compiled from agency reports