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    Posted on 29 May 2012

    We need to stop considering Pakistan as a terrorist state: Mani Shankar Aiyar

    Anjali Kispotta
    New Delhi

    Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar addresses the foreign policy forum as secretary general of FICCI Rajiv Kumar looks on in New Delhi on Monday

    Photo: Naval Hans

    INDIA’S POLICY TO open Wagah border for trade, invite Pakistan investment and ensure safety transit of fuel through TAPI gas pipeline, has gained appreciation and also drawn criticism from some bureaucrats and industry stakeholders.

    President of SAARC Chambers of Commerce of Industries, VS Sahney, is of the view that an improved trade relations between India and Pakistan is essential for development in South Asia.

    “The people to people contact can be improved through a liberalised visa policy, better air connectivity and established banking facilities,” said Sahney at the foreign policy forum on India Pakistan: Time to Rekindle the Future Here.

    However, former ambassador to Pakistan Satish Chandra voiced his concern over such liberalisation policies of India. He said, “Trade with Pakistan should be encouraged only if the country clamps down on its terror activities. I don’t see any growth or progress till Pakistan’s negative mindset changes.” The proposed visa liberalisation may encourage Pakistan to destabilise the security infrastructure of India. “Rather than concentrating on Pakistan only, I suggest, we should also focus on improving relations with Bangladesh. We should have gone ahead with the Teesta agreement.”

    Addressing the policy forum, organised by FICCI, Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar said, “We need to stop considering Pakistan as a terrorist state. The country is facing terror attacks on a daily basis and more people die in Pakistan due to terrorism than in India.”

    India needs to change its unidimensional view towards Pakistan to bring peace and prosperity.

    Aiyar also said the country first needs to tackle its relations with neighbouring Pakistan before posing as a nuclear power on an international front.

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    Posted on 29 May 2012



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