Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria on Saturday said there is a lot of positivity among the people of India and Pakistan. The governments also have positive intentions to normalize the relations.
There is need for taking at least small positive steps to create environment for major decisions on different counts, he said during an interaction with members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and media here at Karachi Chamber.
Moving towards this direction, India has taken a “baby” step by softening its visa policy for Pakistan’s senior citizen and the children under age of 12 years, and issuing visas on humanitarian ground in some particular cases.
To a question, he said normally it took 30 to 35 days to process an application by a Pakistani for an Indian visa. However, the Indian mission here tried its best to make the process easier.
On pointation that even Pakistani businessmen were issued India visas at the eleventh hour to attend or participate any trade event, Indian High Commissioner assured that in future they would get visa in time. Indian envoy said, he strictly believed that the neighboring countries must have good relations with each other. “ We would encourage every positive effort towards peace,” he re-affirmed.
He said despite many issues/ hindrances, the bilateral trade last year figured dollars 2.2 billion. The fact is that, the trade potential on both the sides was more than 30 billion dollars per year. He suggested that business communities and the general public on the both sides should come up and form pressure groups/lobbies to push their government to work for closer relations in the two countries.
He was optimistic that both the governments had adopted positive approach and had agreed that both the countries should respect each other. He said both the countries had also decided to exchange the prisoners. He appreciated Pakistan Navy’s good gesture to save India fishermen from drowning in the sea.
India diplomat said there should also be series of cricket matches between the two neighbouring counties to normalize the environment and bring the peoples closer. He said Karachi was a safer place even for foreigners.
To another query, he said it was possible that both the countries could exchange students especially in the filed of management.
When his comments were sought on Indian stance on China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he simply said his country’s position was very clear on CPEC for certain reasons.—APP