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Rasheed Khalid

The News

Published Date: Sep 24, 2014

Key to success for India and Pakistan lies in working together


Dr Rajiv
Kumar, former secretary-general of Federation of Indian Chambers of
Commerce & Industry, has said that the key to success for India and
Pakistan lies in the two largest economies of South Asia work together
for the regional development and regional cooperation.

Kumar was addressing a special lecture on ‘India-Pakistan Relations:
Situation Analysis’, organised by Sustainable Development Policy
Institute (SDPI) here on Tuesday.

The Indian economist
said that whenever the two countries try to improve relations, some evil
eyes try to stop the improvement. He said that now the focus must be on
people to people, business to business, government to government, and
non-governmental organisations to non-governmental organisation

He opined that this is a time when India and
Pakistan should discuss and talk about Afghanistan, TAPI and opening
trade routes in the region which can only happen if more people talk
about it.

He lamented the way we treat each other, which
does not happen elsewhere regarding the visa. He said India should
unilaterally allow experts, parliamentarians, businesspersons, and
economists etc, to frequently visit India. He said we are vulnerable to
climate change and food insecurity and should mutually work together on
irrigation, flooding and solar energy.

He said that India
and Pakistan have many stakeholders so there is a need to create a body
of stakeholders to make the scenarios of regional cooperation more

Dr Kumar said that we are seeing changing
political realities in Pakistan and expecting that in near future, the
relationship would normalise. He lamented that Pakistan did not grant
the MFN status to India despite many promises. The Modi’s government, he
said, is pro-market and he himself is a pragmatic leader having a
balanced market economy approach with greater focus on public-private
partnership. He said that Indian government is focusing on improving
governance and pushing back corruption. He said that the Modi government
had a clear focus on working with neighbours though one school of
thought in India says that we are very big so why bother for regional
cooperation. He said that if the infrastructure is built well then the
connectivity in the region will improve.

He said that the
agriculture and water stability is also one of the prime focuses of Modi
government and this can also be a good cooperative issue for India and
Pakistan where “India is far more prepared for regional cooperation.” He
said New Delhi had great expectations from the present government in
Islamabad and the overall relationships will improve very soon. He said
that we are now in a dire need to further strengthen the economic,
political and social relations. He said that we are looking for possible
ventures of working in the provinces that have boundary with Nepal,
Bangladesh and Pakistan. If we talk especially about Pakistan, he said,
our focus would be on relations of Punjab to Punjab, and Karachi to
Mumbai etc.

Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairperson, Board of
Governors, SDPI, stressed that we have to try and convince ourselves and
people as some recent events divide us, some events can unite us. He
said we cannot divide on monsoon, rather we can share it. He said it is
high time to give peace a chance now that so much time has passed to do

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, said the relations need to improve between both countries.

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