Agra: Against the backdrop of chill in India-Pakistan relations, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has pressed for the need for building confidence and trust particularly in the economic field, saying there is no alternative.
"India is of this considered view that there is no alternative way other than building an atmosphere of confidence and trust (to strengthen ties between India and Pakistan)...And for that the only way is the economic partnership," Sharma said at the CII's Global Partnership Summit here last evening.
The session was on "South Asia Economic Integration: On a New path of progress and Hope".
The statement comes amidst chill in bilateral relations triggered by the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani troops on Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on January 8.
After permitting FDI from Pakistan, he said India in the process of allowing its banks open branches in India.
Sharma asked the Pakistani delegations attending the session to tell their government to move forward.
"I know we have friends from Pakistan in the audience here. Please go back and remind them what we discussed in last February, where we are and not to allow anything which actually holds this region back," he said.
Although Pakistan's Trade Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim could not make it to this summit due to some internal compulsions, a small delegation attended it.