Pakistan- India peace important to divert resources from arms race to human development: PM

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct 23 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said peace between Pakistan and India was important to ensure that resources of the two countries be diverted towards human development rather than wasted in non-productive arms race.
“Peace with India is not just important for Pakistan, but for India as well. The money that should be diverted to human resources ends up in non-productive arms race,” the Prime Minister said in response to a question over Pakistan’s efforts to maintain cordial ties with India, at an interactive session of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), being held in Riyadh from October 23-25.
Speaking to top-tier global business leaders and investors from across the world, Prime Minister Imran Khan said for Pakistan, the peace and stability with both India and Afghanistan was important.
He mentioned that after assuming the office of prime minister, he took initiative of extending olive branch to India and regretted that Pakistan’s gesture was sadly rebuffed by India.
Imran Khan said he believed that the upcoming general election in India was the reason behind its anti-Pakistan rhetoric, however hinted for resumption of talks afterward.
“Now we are hoping, to wait for election and will again resume talks with India,” he said.
The Prime Minister said peace in Afghanistan was critical for Pakistan and added that at the moment, Pakistan was facing some low amount of terrorism coming in from Afghanistan.
He expressed his government’s commitment to support peace initiatives in Afghanistan.
Imran Khan said all stakeholders in Pakistan had a consensus that only peace and stability could bring in foreign investment, alleviate poverty and ensure employment for youth.
The Prime Minister also recalled the tough times Pakistan faced for decades following 9/11, which incurred heavy losses including 80,000 dead, over 100 billion dollars economic losses and devastation in tribal areas including displacement of thousands.
“The current and fiscal deficit, which we are facing now, is because of this instability and war when investment dried up in the country for long,” he said.
Saudi Arabia is holding the three-day FFI summit with main themes including ‘Investing in transformation’, ‘technology as opportunity’ and advancing human potential’.