SAARC Chamber hails Chinese offer for trilateral dialogue between Pak-India to de-escalate tension

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 24 (APP): SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Senior Vice President, Iftikhar Ali Malik Sunday, hailing Chinese offer of trilateral dialogue to help de-escalate tensions between India and Pakistan said any positive role that the Chinese government plays to bring peace and stability in South Asia can be fruitful and prosperous for the common people of the region.
In his statement issued here Sunday, he said it is need of the hour that both India and Pakistan should strengthen channels for dialogue, appropriately handle any differences, improve bilateral relations and together protect the region’s peace and stability and in case the leaderships of both the countries think they cannot handle differences through bilateral dialogue then China, a global superpower, is willing to play a ‘constructive role’ in mending relations between India and Pakistan.
He said “there is a need to strengthen Pakistan intrinsically so that we can counter India logically and rationally.”
He said China has deepened cooperation in trade, investment and agriculture in SAARC since it became an observer in 2006. Chinese investments into South Asia amounted to $30 billion and Chinese loans at concessional rates to South Asia amounted to $25 billion. Besides this, China was giving 10,000 scholarships for South Asian students, apart from providing skills training to thousands of other.
He said India and Pakistan are important South Asian countries but the “situation in Kashmir has attracted the attention of the international community”. “Hostility and aggression is not solution of any problem. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since gaining independence from British rule in 1947. Two of those wars have been over Kashmir. More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region,” adding he said despite this, India has imposed Governor rule in occupied Kashmir to suppress the voices of Kashmiris.
He said that settlement of Kashmir dispute was imperative for durable peace in South Asia because it would bring prosperity to the region and its people would get rid of illiteracy and poverty.
Iftikhar Malik asked the government in New Delhi to fulfill its promise of holding referendum in India-held Kashmir, adding that without doing so India would not be able to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. “These issues could be resolved effectively through strong regional connectivity and business to business contacts,” he added.
He urged the governments of the member states to expedite the process of trade liberalisation in South Asian region. “The cooperation in member states will help promote trade and improve quality of life of our people, who accounted for 1/5th of the world’s population,” Malik said.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said that though it seems difficult but it is not impossible that we must collaborate with each other with confidence and trust especially focusing on easing trade and visa restrictions. “For that matter, we have to encourage people-to-people contacts, cooperate in all fields of life and explore such avenues of liaison which can promote feel-good factors among us.”