PAKISTAN’s real problems are weak governance, lack of visionary leadership, mismanagement of the institutions and corruption while there is need to strengthen economy, politics and society before starting trade with India as India has been making fool of Pakistan on these issues since creation of Pakistan.
These views were expressed by the discussants in Jang Economic Session ‘Borders Tensions - Impact on Pakistan -India trade relations’. The panellists were Prof Farooq Hassan, Chairman Pakistan Tanners Association Agha Saidain, Major Gen (r) Rahat Lateef, Tahir Javed Malik and Convenor on Pakistan-India Business Promotion Committee Aftab Vohra while hosted by Sikandar Hameed Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq.
Farooq Hassan said tension between India and Pakistan is not in favour of anyone as India considers that Pakistan is internally weak while Pakistan should convey to India that without its support India could not maintain its world player position. He said ball is in India’s court to resolve Siachin and Sir Creek and other issues but its establishment was not ready to resolve them. He said ruling government announced MFN status to India but did not tell Pakistanis about what to export to India. Agha Saidain said Pakistan was in a state of disarray on relations with India as on one side Kashmir was declared major issue while on the other, talking to open the trade. He said Balochistan government was terminated due to killing of 86 people, while how relations with India could be improved which had killed more than 100,000 people there. He said India was befooling Pakistan on Kashmir issue since partition. He said Pakistani solider was martyred in recent tension while Indian army chief was threatening Pakistan. He said relations with India could not be improved with resolving Kashmir issue.
Rahat Lateef said that due to wrong decision Pakistan failed to prove that India’s stance on Kashmir of its integral part was wrong. He said US wanted to keep Pakistan army engage on different fronts and interested to initiate Waziristan operation. He said the government should take visionary decisions while keeping all planning of US and India in sight. He said Pakistan had demanded the investigation from UN on recent cross border tension but India was again de-tracking it. Tahir Javed Malik said Pakistan could not live in isolation in the world while keeping in mind that India had become an economic power in the region and should resolve our issues in accordance with Indian activities. He said Pakistan agriculture and pharmaceutical sectors would face real difficulties due to opening of trade while India will deprive Pakistan of water by 2020.
Aftab Vohra said cross border tensions should not affect trade relations while both the countries should avoid aggression. He said Pakistan industry was affected after opening of free trade with China which was at latter stage controlled and the same situation would be faced at the start of trade with India too.