LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Monday that the well-being Indian and Pakistani people depended on the normalisation of relations between the two countries on a sustainable basis.
Addressing the 2nd Aman Ki Asha Economic Conference in Lahore, Gilani said, “The engine of economic growth is not fueled by regional tensions and conflicts” and that “it needs peace and an enabling environment.”
The conference was attended by industrialists, entrepreneurs and business professionals from both countries. “This shows the commitment of the private sector to develop economic relations between our two countries,” said the prime minister. “It is a matter of satisfaction that the business communities of two countries are exploring vistas of economic cooperation.”
He said that better trade relations between the two countries had “great potential for a bright future”.
“This is a region, where more than one-fifth of the world population resides and which is fast becoming one of the key drivers of the global economy.”
Gilani also said that the presence of the business community underlined the need of peace and normalisation of relations between the two countries. “This conference pushed forward the peace agenda and that of economic cooperation at a time when tensions ran high between India and Pakistan.”
Recalling the first conference in December 2009, the premier said that he had extended unwavering support to the cause of peace and people-to-people contact on behalf of people and the government.
“Notwithstanding the ups and downs in our bilateral relations, our support to the cause of peace and normalization of relations with India has remained steadfast. This is because trade between our countries is to our best advantage. Let me add here that Pakistan’s closest friend and strategic partner, China, is also in favour of our normalization of relations with India,” he said.