Lahore: Striking an optimistic chord, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said opening of trade with India would bring New Delhi and Islamabad closer and help in promoting stability in the region.
“Our best friend China, whose own trade volume with India has touched USD 70 billion mark, has advised us to promote trade relations with India”, he said while interacting with a group of reporters at his residence in Lahore last evening.
He further talked of enlarging trade sphere to include Afghanistan and Iran also by giving transit facility to India. China will also become an active trade partner with these countries, Gilani added.
“Progress on balance of trade with India, Pak-Afghan Transit Trade and energy projects with Iran will help the country achieve the cherished goal of stability in the region,” the Prime Minister has been quoted as saying by the Pakistani media.
Calling President Asif Ali Zardari day-long visit to India as “very successful and important”, the Pakistani PM said the Pakistan People`s Party-led government had the mandate of the opposition and the people to forge good relations with India.
"The Army should be with us on this matter," he added.
On Kashmir issue, Gilani said Pakistan sought a solution which is acceptable to the people as well as leadership of Kashmir.
Gilani acknowledged that the case of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief HafizSaeed was an "issue" between Pakistan and India but said Islamabad needs "substantial" evidence against him to try him in a court of law.
"We are serious on the issue of Saeed but the question is how to proceed against him without evidence. Courts here are independent and we need substantial evidence against him," Gilani said.
(With PTI inputs)