India never severed trade relations with Pakistan: Indian diplomat
Islamabad: India has never stopped trade relations with Pakistan. He wants to move towards normalizing trade relations. India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan Suresh Kumar made the remarks while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday.
India did not stop trade with Pakistan
Suresh Kumar said, ‘India always wants better relations with Pakistan because we cannot change our geography. We want to move towards normal relations with Pakistan. We didn’t even stop trade with Pakistan because Pakistan did. It would be better to see how we can change our problems and circumstances.
The talks will be held in a terrorism-free environment
In 2019, Pakistan suspended bilateral trade with India and expelled its High Commissioner in Islamabad after revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. India has said that it aspires for normal neighborly relations with Pakistan, while stressing that Pakistan is responsible for creating an environment free of terrorism and hostility for such relations.
Increase in the number of visas issued to Pakistanis
Statistics show that trade with Pakistan was $329.26 million in 2020-21 and $830.58 million in 2019-20. Kumar agreed that there has been a decline in the number of visas issued by the Indian Embassy to Pakistanis during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he stressed that this number has now increased, as 30,000 visas are being issued every year, which is a ‘huge number’.
Diplomacy revolves around tourism and trade
Suresh Kumar said that the Government of India is also issuing medical and sports visas to Pakistanis. He said that gone are the days when diplomacy was focused on compilation of political reports. Today’s diplomacy revolves around tourism, trade and technology.
import is not always wrong
India currently trades $120 billion with China, with the balance of trade in favor of China. Kumar insists that import is not always wrong. It also has its advantages.
Intellectual property is more important than physical property
The Indian diplomat said that intellectual property has become more important than physical property. “Europe is making money because of intellectual property rights, by sitting in other countries and manufacturing in other countries. Europe’s universities focus on technology,” he said.
increased service sector
Kumar said transit trade is very important as Central Asia is a big market and India needs to reach it. Similarly, Central Asia also needs India’s reach. He said that India is on its way to become the largest economy. Our service sector has expanded and we are now focusing on manufacturing such as automobile and electronics manufacturing.
government should conduct business as usual
LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that it is generally believed that improving economic relations between India and Pakistan is a complex issue that needs to be addressed due to various political, economic and social factors, but we believe That is therefore the most important step that can be taken. Improvement in economic relations between India and Pakistan is normalizing trade relations. This will give equal economic benefit to both the countries.