ISLAMABAD: Indian and Pakistani parliamentarians have called for a sustained dialogue process and expressed the hope that prime ministers of the two countries would meet in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

They were speaking at the concluding session of the fifth round of dialogue between parliamentarians of Pakistan and India organised by civil society organisation PILDAT here on Friday. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, they said the two prime ministers should meet in New York to keep the door open for peace and good relations.

They urged the two governments to continue the process of dialogue for durable peace in the region and for resolving issues affecting ties between the two countries.

Addressing the need for a holistic approach to conflict resolution, the parliamentarians urged their governments to engage on all issues, including those related to Jammu and Kashmir. As representatives of the people of Pakistan and India, they noted progress on various issues, including visas and trade, and urged them to strive to improve both neighbourly and regional relations.

They said there was an urgent need to address the critical issue of rising water scarcity in both the countries. Acknowledging that the Indus Water Treaty was the best means for resolving any possible differences relating to water resources, the parliamentarians urged the two governments to jointly examine issues relating to climate change and environment impact assessment and to consider technologies of efficient use of water in agriculture and to substantially improve yields.

Underlining the huge potential for bilateral trade which currently stood at $2 billion but had the potential of reaching $10bn if all agreements were implemented expeditiously and outstanding issues were resolved, the parliamentarians welcomed the establishment of India-Pakistan Joint Business Council and the priority areas of business it had identified.

They agreed that further improvements in trade and economic cooperation between the two countries required early progress towards granting the most-favoured nation status to India, addressing issues of non-tariff barriers identified by Pakistan, fully utilising and further expanding newly-built infrastructure at the Wahga-Attari border and opening the Monabao-Khokhrapar route for trade.

They called for re-opening the Indian consulate general in Karachi and a Pakistani diplomatic mission in Mumbai, strengthening air and shipping routes between Karachi and Mumbai and opening bank branches to facilitate trade exchanges.

The dialogue was attended by former Indian minister and member of Indian Rajya Sabha Mani Shankar Aiyar, K.C. Tyagi, D.P. Tripathy, Ms Anu Aga, Prof S.P. Singh Baghel and Ram Kirpal Yadav.

Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, former defence minister Syed Naveed Qamar, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, Senator Nasreen Jalil and Senator Afrasiyab Khattak attended from the Pakistani side.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (9)

Rana
September 21, 2013 3:31 pm

Just an opportunity for both sides to put on their sunday best and take a load of smiling, laughing photos together...anymore than that and you must be joking.

Shri
September 21, 2013 8:34 pm

Mani Shankar Iyer's credibility is zero in India. This drama is nothing but wastage of tax-payers money.

Dave Passi
September 22, 2013 8:13 am

Outcome is unlikely because congress on Indian side may not be elected next year and the Pakistani authority is not really in the hands of civilian government. In addition to that, Trust is like a sticky tape, once removed can not stick together again with the same strength. Hope I am wrong.

NASAH (USA)
September 22, 2013 8:45 am

I will say it again -- give the Indians first the MFN status and then talk.

kaka
September 22, 2013 9:33 am

nothing

vedpl rathee
September 22, 2013 3:45 pm

talks only solve the problems ,guns destroys.

sukhbir
September 22, 2013 7:57 pm

Time to remove Kashmir from any agenda. Close the Chapter once and for all. Let so called Kashmiri Nation option be adopted. Give Kashmiris full autonomy, let them thrive as a Nation without being either part of Pakistan or India. Remove this thorn that has pricked Pakistan India relations for 66 years once and for all. I am sure given this all other so called disputes will disappear and or get resolved. Yes please continue the dialogue without hidden agendas.

The Singh
September 23, 2013 5:20 am

Let the wisdom prevail and some good may come out of this. Politicians and hate mongers on both sides have invariably played havoc with peoples emotions and mutilated the trusts.

I feel the currents PMs on both sides have good intentions.

The Singh, New Jersey, USA

js
September 23, 2013 7:28 am

unfortunately, I don't think dialogue or peace will be given any chance now, the attack on the Christians was a very deliberate crossing of a red line.

even if India chooses to ignore the incident, there isn't much concern for Christians in India, international pressures may come to bear on it and keep it away from any dialogue.

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