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Lahore Times

Published Date: Jul 4, 2014

People-to-people contacts must for improved Pak-India relations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is keen in
improving bilateral relations with SAARC members countries, Tridivesh
Singh Maini from India said during his lecture at Sustainable
Development Policy Institute on "Evolving Political Economy of
India-Pakistan Relations".

He said there was a will at the political level, but still there were
some bureaucratic bottlenecks, which would become less, if both the
counties pursue the path of building mutual trust.

Maini says for this to happen three things needs to be done, between
the two countries, which include: improving visa regime, opening up more
and transit routes and facilitate divided families for reunion.

Tridivesh Singh Maini pressed on the need for greater land connectivity between the two countries.

Maini says that logistical issues, especially the visa regime and
poor communication linkages, act as barriers which restrict trade
opportunities between two countries; both countries should address the
above issues.

"While issues like the visa regime are vexed, there needs to be
greater liberalization in a phased manner. In pursuing these targets,
Before we run we must first learn to walk," he said.

People of both the countries need to know each other for which
people-to-people contact is important. A large part of the credit for
the improved economic relations goes to the Chambers of Commerce on both
sides, which have forged strong linkages, he remarked.

Recommendation for the chambers of commerce should be considered sufficient binding ground for issuing visa, he suggested.