Secretary General (Federal) of the Businessmen Panel, Ahmad Jawad has said trade ties and business relations need a sharp boost to incentivize peace as there is a strong feeling that enhanced connectivity between India and Pakistan will create corridors of peace.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ahmad Jawad said that for large and expanding economies of the world trade and good trade relations can be a crucial source of development and progress. With India and Pakistan, both nations’ economies offer the ideal conditions to make significant gains from trade, he said adding that according to the World Bank “The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia”, trade potential between two countries is estimated at $37 billion.
The Secretary General BMP said that 770 million young people on both sides of the border are a “ray of hope” and by bringing them together a paradigm shift can be brought in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
He said that despite after the Post Pulwama and India’s haste decision to retract Pakistan’s non-discriminatory ‘Most Favored Nation’ (MFN) status, India had cancelled export orders from Pakistan and banned the export of certain products to Pakistan, but it couldn’t hit us much. We are not dependent on Indian trade as there are no level playing fields between the two counties and it needs to be reviewed in detail, he added
Jawad was of the view that Indian business figures have lobbied their governments to improve trade opportunities due to their high share and reduce the disruption on the border in particular, where traders complain of everything from bureaucratic impediments put in their way to harassment by paranoid security forces concerned with their cross-border activities.
“Because of pervasive tensions, informal trade is high as it bypasses customs and border officials and uses third party countries such as the United Arab Emirates. However, these circuitous routes add unnecessary time and costs and result in a loss of tax revenue for both governments,” he maintained
The SG BMP said that PM Imran Khan has consistently been giving the message of peace to Indian PM Modi adding that war is not a solution to any problem and conflicts can only be resolved through peace and negotiations and in this regard U President Trump offer for mediation is important for Kashmir dispute.
He further said peace with India has also relevance in the sector of climate change that poses a grave danger to the economies of the two countries, besides affecting the health of the population.
Jawad said that both India and Pakistan are exposed to multiple hazards like avalanches, earthquakes, glacial lake outburst floods in the Himalayas in the north, droughts and floods in the plains and cyclones that originate in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. India and Pakistan are severely water-stressed countries.
“The two neighbours need to confront the menace by combining strategies and actions on a permanent basis,” he suggested.—INP