Pak for `zero conflict policy` to settle issues with India
The Pakistan government is working on a "zero conflict policy" to address all outstanding issues with countries like India and Afghanistan and to improve trade and political ties, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Monday.
Islamabad: The Pakistan government is working on a "zero conflict policy" to address all outstanding issues with countries like India and Afghanistan and to improve trade and political ties, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Monday.
Iqbal, a close aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, made the remarks while addressing celebrations here to mark the SAARC Charter Day.
He said Pakistan and India should liberalise their visa regimes and provide cellular roaming facilities to promote bilateral trade. Friendly relations between the two countries are vital for exploiting the region`s true trade potential, he said.
During the past 10 years, Pakistan took several steps to improve ties with India but "unfortunately India has not responded positively and adopted Pakistan-bashing policies in its recent elections", he claimed.
All political parties in Pakistan focussed on domestic issues like the energy crisis and law and order during the general election in May instead of blaming India, he said.
Iqbal stressed the need for starting sports and cultural activities and enhancing people-to-people contacts for normalising the environment and for restoring the India-Pakistan peace process.
After the creation of SAARC, about 17 meetings and 34 ministerial conferences had been held but intra-regional trade amounted to about five per cent of total trade, he noted.
Despite rich human and natural resources, the Human Development Index in South Asia shows a downward trend, he said.
Industries Minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi reiterated Pakistan`s resolve to enhance industrial links with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation nations.
Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan also spoke on the occasion.