Karachi:S. M Muneer President of the India Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IPCCI) has expressed his serious concern and anxiety over the critical situation prevailing at the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.
He said that the current situation has not only jeopardize the business activities underway between the two countries but it will also lead trust deficit, which was the largest hurdle in improving the bilateral relations during the past decades. He believed that there is encouraging improvement in bilateral relationship during the last year that increases bilateral trade between two countries to US$ 2.5 billion of which imports from India stand at US$1.9 billion and exports to India are just US$500 million.
He said that the business community of both countries is very much keen to establish strong and significant investment and trade relations because trade and investments are indicators of growth and development, which not only create employment opportunities it also help in alleviation of poverty which is being faced by 40 percent in India and 27 percent in Pakistan.
He added that the business and economic activity which were taking place in the near future including Roundtable discussions on economic activity, Pakistan single country exhibition in India and Trade delegation visits to each countries has been put to hold, creating uncertainty between the business community of both the countries, who had a great expectation for promotion of bilateral trade and economic relations. It is a time that both countries should gain from the experience of one another by diverting considerable economic resources from non desirable to desirable areas. He emphasized on the continuous ongoing effort for the promotion of bilateral trade which would gain access to advanced technology.
Muneer further stated that the process of trade liberalization between Pakistan and India must go ahead in order to establish long-lasting peace and stability in the region. He added that the LoC tension provides an opportunity to propagate for reversal of all those measures taken so far and if recent tension doesn’t confiscate on time then the movement of goods through indirect channels increases and also invite cross border smuggling.
He said that the normalization of bilateral trade will also stabilize the prices of commodity particularly the consumer goods prices in Pakistan, which will helpful to the nation of both the countries.
He urged the government of both countries to develop and implement suitable mechanisms to ensure steady communication between the concerned authorities of both sides in order to normalize the trade and economic relations at this time, so that the progress, prosperity and the economic relations flourishing between the both countries could continue.
He was also of opinion that the people of both the countries can’t afford any more unpleasant situation. He emphasized on the need that both countries should avert the pact of non-violation at LoC. He has also requested the Prime Minister of Pakistan and India to take initiative directly to resolve the issues which have been blown up unnecessarily for safety and security of the poor masses of both the countries.