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Published Date: Feb 5, 2015

EU wants initiatives for S. Asian integration supported

ISLAMABAD: European Union Ambas­sador Lars Gunnar Wigemark on Thursday advised the Pakistan government not to overreact to recent developments in India.
He was referring to US President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi.
“I will say that Pakistan should not press the panic button. I understand that you have a sensitive relationship with India. But we too share some of the concerns about India’s role as an economic player,” he said.
Mr Wigemark was addressing at a seminar on ‘Deepening of Pakistan-EU relations: post Afghan withdrawal’, which was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
He said India had still got to learn about being an open economy and also referred to India’s criticism in Western media.
India’s nuclear deal with the US and agreements on defence and space cooperation had ruffled feathers in Islamabad.
Soon after completion of President Obama’s visit to Delhi, the government of Pakistan had warned that the deals would disturb the region’s strategic stability and deterrence.
Mr Wigemark observed that Pakistan was not to gain anything from adversarial relations with India.
He asked the Pakistan government to support initiatives for South Asia’s integration.
“Pakistan should champion the cause of integration because it had suffered most from the conflict in the region. The answer is not more conflict, but lesser.”
About cooperation with Pakistan, Mr Wigemark said EU desired to help the country in developing a narrative against extremism and terrorism in addition to working together on tracking `terror financing’.
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