LAHORE: Pakistan's mainstream political parties including Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have shown unanimous views on enhancing bilateral trade ties with India, saying that economic ties and other burning issues could be tackled simultaneously instead of linking one with the other.
This was discussed during the two-day, second Aman Ki Asha conference jointly organised by Jang Group and Times of India in collaboration with other partners. The pattern of the European Union (EU) was cited to be considered as a role model.
The political parties reached a consensus on at least one point- that both Pakistan and India should engage in dialogue to find ways and means for promoting trade ties with each other.
During the inaugural session of the conference, Prime Minister Gilani said that the days of doom and gloom were over as there was broader consensus for establishing trade linkages and normalising relations with neighboring India because it is the only way to tackle the menace of poverty and backwardness.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif extended all out support to enhance trade ties with India, saying that three wars had been fought between the two countries and now the time has come when peace should be given a chance.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan also supported the enhancing of bilateral trade between the two countries in order to ensure good governance and the bringing out of poor people from poverty.
Just a few years ago trade with India was considered as a no-go area in the politics of this country but with the passage of time it has been found that the major political parties have struck broader consensus on the opening up of trade through all available routes.
"Modalities can be worked out as the Ministry of Commerce put a negative list to the tune of 1,209 items after holding consultations with the relevant stakeholders," former governor SBP Dr Ishrat Hussain told The News on Tuesday.
When asked to comment on whether India was showing interest in trade ties with Pakistan to get transit facilities for sending its goods to Central Asian Republics (CARs), Hussain said that there was no truth in this impression because the middle class in CARs was not in so much numbers that could generate higher interest of Indian businessmen.
There is no other option left but to promote trade and investment in this region as both nations had fought three wars but nothing has changed on the ground, he said.
During the conference, it was mentioned that even Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaque Pervez Kiani was stressing upon the need of giving peace a chance in relation with India. Different business tycoons of both sides of the border, politicians and experts identified certain pre-requisites such as relaxing visa regime, customs facilitation, more flights, stabling air, road and railways linkages, abolishing the negative list of 1,209 items by the end of December 2012, and ensuring cooperation in banking sector and placing institutional mechanism to achieve enhanced trade ties between the two countries.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
On September 5, 2011, a delegation of People's Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan, .....more
By Amena H Saiyid
Motionless like an unwave .....more
LAHORE: "I could not even imagine that my five-year-child, who has a hole in the heart, will have free heart surgery. But 'Aman Ki Asha' has made .....more
Exclusive to The News
"The bomb blast missed my father by three seconds, maybe four." Did you say that? Did I? I did, but as you know .....more
By Shashi Tharoor
As the German poet Heinrich Heine so memorably put i .....more
Page 92 of 178
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw