Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of Pakistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan has said that India and Pakistan enjoy typical relationship in which mistrust prevail the most despite several rounds of confidence building measures held in the recent past at the political and bureaucratic levels, however, though not without much success. He was participating in the deliberations Round Table on SAARC: Towards a New Beginning organized by PHDCCI in New Delhi.
“Despite cultural and ethnic similarities between the two countries, nothing much has moved ever since SAARC has came into being over two and half decade ago. The November SAARC Summit slated to be held at Kathmandu provides for an opportunity to remove the mistrust drastically and restore the trade to its potential”, said Shri Khan.
The statement has come at a time when there is a serious deadlock on dialogue between the two countries. Both Indian and Pakistani Prime Minister visiting the US for UNGA are unlikely to meet in New York.
Diplomats in the SAARC region have pinned all their hopes in the forthcoming SAARC Summit of November 2014 at Kathmandu for unlocking their economic potential, anticipating that its political leadership will have resolved the region’s trade related divergent issues to make sure that the trade flows within the expected levels to bring about prosperity in all SAARC nations. This was the common refrain at the. Diplomats of SAARC region such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka including scholar from ICRIER and banker from Yes Bank participated.
Minister Counsellor, High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Manorie Mallikaratchy expressed similar sentiments, exuding confidence that the forthcoming SAARC Summit will unlock the trade potential of SAARC nations which stayed unexplored despite so many deliberations among the leaders of the region.
She said that though India and Sri Lanka signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) way back in 2000 but it has benefited the former and the latter lost out of it on account of various trade barriers that India imposed against Sri Lanka from time to time after the FTA was concluded.
Counsellor Commercial, Bangladesh High Commission, Dr. Nahid Rashid also hoped that the SAARC Summit this time would succeed in bringing about reconciliation among the political leadership of the region to resolve their mutual differences for higher trade.
Economic Counsellor, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Sayed Mujtaba Ahmadi alluded to the space cooperation among the SAARC nation as indicated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after taking over the charge.
Senior President & Country Head-Public and Social Policies Management, Yes Bank, Mr. Tushar Pandey and Professor ICRIER, Dr. Nisha Taneja also highlighted the potential of SAARC region in their presentation. The SAARC round table recommended that SAARC nationalities should strived for tourist visa and also called for simplification in the current visa regime was presided over by the former President of PHD Chamber Sushma Berlia.