Pakistan ministers stress need for economic ties with India

25 Oct 2014


Pakistan's commerce minister Khurram Dastagir Khan said on Friday that his country would continue to promote trade with India despite border tensions.

Speaking on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi, the minister said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government is committed to increasing regional trade as part of promoting peace without compromising on national sovereignty.

Khan stressed the import of electricity from India, saying it would greatly help overcome Pakistan's power crisis.

''The vision of our government is that we must trade with our neighbours,'' he said.

Speaking at a consultative meeting, 'Trade with Neighbours: Prospects and Challenges', organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, the minister said that the country's current tension with India is casting a shadow on economic ties.

He said that Pakistan would have to trade in electricity from India to overcome the energy crisis. The minister admitted that extraordinary concessions were given to neighbours for trade facilitation.

''We have been trying to finalise our projects with Iran as well,'' said the minister.

Pakistan is also purchasing electricity from Iran.

Pakistan's minister for privatisation Mohammad Zubair supported the notion of opening the border for trade with India. ''Pakistan should trade with India for better standard of living of its own people,'' he said.

''If we want to develop, we should contribute. It is not about India's domination over us, we absolutely want good relations with India,'' the minister said.

The privatisation minister said that it was time to start taking bold decisions.

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