Economic cooperation would help bridge Indo-Pak trust deficit: Krishna
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Singapore, Mar 12: India believes enhanced economic cooperation with Pakistan through an MFN status will be a "win-win" proposition and will help bridge the "trust deficit" in bilateral ties, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has said.
He said while India wants to "fully normalise" Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan must also fulfil its stated commitments on India's "terrorism-related concerns".
Krishna was quoted as saying by Singapore's Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) in a report that Pakistan cabinet's decision to approve the phasing out of the 'Negative list' of items for trade with India by December 2012 means the process of trade normalisation between the two countries will be completed soon.
"We have consistently maintained that enhanced economic and commercial cooperation between India and Pakistan is a win-win proposition for both countries and would help us in addressing our common developmental challenges.
"It would also contribute towards bridging the trust deficit," he said.
Krishna added that India has consistently conveyed to Pakistan that it desires a "friendly and cooperative" relationship in an atmosphere "free from terror and violence".
"We believe that for our relations to be fully normalised, Pakistan must fulfil its stated commitments on our terrorism- related concerns," he added.
He also termed China as a "priority" in India's foreign policy as the two countries share a strategic and cooperative partnership, notwithstanding the "fields of divergence", that are not unnatural in relations amongst major powers.
Krishna said while there are "some differences" betweenthe two sides, including on the boundary question, but India will maintain dialogue with China with the objective of "minimising such differences or bridging them".
"As a self-confident nation, India will continue to engage China on all these issues," he said pointing out that both nations stand to gain by cooperation in trade, investment, cultural exchanges, science and technology.
"We will continue to engage China in a constructive and forward-looking manner so that both countries can achieve a win-win situation... We will do so as equals and as partners in development and progress," he said.
Krishna also stressed on India's consistent policy to judge issues based on their merits and their effect on India's interests rather than aligning with one group or another.
He said that non-alignment would remain a cornerstone of India's foreign policy, especially as a matter of "enlightened self-interest".
"Today, this policy has enabled us to work with all the major powers without exception, in accordance with our national priorities. We are committed to uphold the core values of this policy such as respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States," he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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