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LAHORE, June 30: Outgoing Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal says his country has lifted restrictions on investment and negative list was being phased out fast.

“India is committed to reduce the list of 600 negative items to 100 with a minor tariff of 5 per cent, while the list of 100 items will also be removed in five years,” said Sabharwal during a farewell call to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) leadership on Sunday afternoon.

The people of India and Pakistan had been looking for economic gains despite ups and downs in the relationship between the two Countries, he said.

“Generating employment through cooperation is the top most agenda of the two governments and the textile industry of both countries can make this dream come true.

“The mutual cooperation has been improving fast over the last two years and I reassure you of the continuation of the facilities in future,” said Mr Sabharwal and added the two countries had already ironed out visa issue.

Mr Sabharwal also appreciated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his approach towards Indo-Pakistan relations and hoped for their improvement with initiatives like importing 500MW electricity from India.

Earlier, Aptma Central Chairman Ahsan Bashir said he was proud of the support and trust extended by Indian embassy to the Association members during Mr Sabharwal’s tenure. Especially, he said, the visa facility had been remarkable.

Mr Bashir pointed out that a lot of infrastructure-related problems had to be faced on the Wagha border but admitted that the expectations multiplied when a huge growth potential was visible.

He expressed the hope that all trade impediments would be removed gradually. He said both Pakistan and India should benefit from each others' strengths while acknowledging the comparative advantages.

Punjab Aptma Chairman Shahzad Ali Khan said peace and prosperity would go hand in hand in future as well. He appreciated the visa facilities the Aptma members enjoyed during Mr Sabharwal’s tenure in the Indian embassy.

While lauding Mr Sabharwal’s efforts for normalising relationships between the two countries, he said Pakistan and India were on the right track and one should hope the journey of peace would continue unhindered.

Amir Fayyaz, Seth Akber and other members of Aptma Managing Committee also spoke.