Pakistan, India lauded for not linking trade with politics

KARACHI: Tensions between Pakistan and India have damaged strategic stability but hasn’t reduced trade between the two countries which is laudable, a business leader said Wednesday.

Last year, the official trade between two countries was recorded at 2.5 billion dollars. It hasn’t improved but has not dwindled, said President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain.

Pakistan exports to India stood at 495 million dollars while it imported goods worth 1.86 billion dollars, he said. In a statement, Mian Zahid Hussain said that trade through Wagah, Muzaffarabad and Karachi is insufficient; therefore, authorities must consider opening Khokhrapar. He said that most of the world’s poor live in Saarc region which are deprived of decent living due to unending tensions between the most important countries of the grouping.

Both nuclear states must realise that war is not an option as the prosperity through trade is only way to end hostilities. Mian Zahid said that India and China have fought wars but their bilateral trade is around 70 billion dollars in which India is facing a deficit of 38 billion dollars.

Trade is one of the best confidence building measure; therefore, Islamabad can improve trade relations with New Delhi without compromising on principled stance. He hailed Pakistan and India lauded for not linking trade with politics