Sour relations between neighbors hinders development in South Asia

APP – Business community of the country has taken exception to belligerent attitude of India towards Pakistan and attributed this as the major hindrance towards poverty alleviation in the South Asian region.

Ahmad Jawad, a known member of business community and former Chairman Standing Committee of FPCCI talking to APP Tuesday regretted that despite off stage meetings between the National Security Advisers of Pakistan and India, mitigation of hostilities between the two countries is nowhere in sight.

“The escalation by the Indian side from “talks over bullets” has now reached the stage of “disproportionate bombardment,” he commented regretting that there appears to be no desire for talks on the part of the Modi government.

Jawad also referred to a recent statement of Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat followed by an incident only last week when three of the UN observers narrowly escaped the Indian army's attack along the LoC in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, leaving two civilians seriously injured in the incident.

Also referring to other unfortunate developments severely compromising relations between the two neighbors, he regretted that there was little realization that neighbors cannot be replaced or changed.

In the given situation, he said policy makers of the country need to well prepare themselves for a pragmatic approach with regard to attendance of the Pakistan at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO's) summit scheduled to be held in June this year.

“We must not be short of options in case the issue of Pak-India relations is taken up at the summit,” he emphasized mentioning likely meeting between higher-ups of the two countries on the sidelines of the summit. In reply to a question, he said it would be short sightedness on part of Modi government to continue with its anti-Pakistan rhetoric so as to placate his Hindu nationalist lobby.

“Riding the tiger might be an exhilarating experience but the consequences are bound to be unpleasant,” commented Ahmad Jawad emphasizing that statesmanship requires working out a peaceful solution to outstanding problems with neighboring countries.

Ahmad Jawad in reply to another question said bilateral trade ties between the two countries are linked with comprehensive dialogue, however, as per ground realities Pakistan and India are having formal and informal estimated trade worth $5 billion to $6 billion.

Mentioning that informal trade is largely done via Dubai seaport, he said this is denying the exchequers of the two countries of their due share in terms of documentation.

To another query, Jawad said revival of trade engagement at the highest level will help build confidence between two countries subject to level playing field.

Regional trade integration is also consistent with Pakistan's thrust to diversify its export products and destinations, added the businessman.

Posted on: 2018-03-20T15:46:00+05:00