• Wednesday, March 22, 2023


New Delhi wants better ties with Islamabad, says India envoy to Pakistan: ‘We cannot change our geography’


By: Shubham Ghosh

New Delhi always wants better relations with Islamabad because the geography cannot be changed, said India’s deputy high commissioner to Pakistan Suresh Kumar at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday (17).

According to a report by Pakistan daily Dawn, Kumar said India wants to move towards “normal relations” with its western neighbour. He also said that New Delhi never stopped trading with Islamabad but it was the other way round.

“India always wants bet­­ter relations with Pak­istan because we cannot change our geography,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.

“It would be better to see how we can change our problems and situations,” the diplomat added.

While agreeing that the number of visas that the Indian embassy in Pakistan issued to the people of that country decreased during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kumar said the number had increased again, as 30,000 visas were being issued every year, the report added.

He said the Indian government was also issuing medical and sports visas to the people of Pakistan.

According to Kumar, while diplomacy earlier was about focusing on compiling political reports, it today revolves around tourism, trade and technology “as money speaks its own language”.

India was presently doing trade worth $120 billion (£98.5 billion) with China, in which the balance of trade is towards the latter, he said, emphasising that imports “are not always wrong and also have advantages”.

The diplomat also said India was set to become one of the largest economies in the world.

“Our service sector has grown enormously and now we are focusing on manufacturing, like automobile and electronics manufacturing,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn.

LCCI president Kashif Anwar said it was generally seen that improving economic relations bet­ween the two south Asian neighbours was a complex issue and needed addressing various political, economic and social factors.

“But we are of the view that the foremost step that could be taken to improve economic relations betw­een India and Pakistan is to normalise trade relations. This would bring substantial economic benefits evenly to both the countries,” he said.

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